Indistinguishability Obfuscation

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Full Title or Meme

A process that enables a computer program to hide not just collections of data but the inner workings of itself.


  • One long term goal is to create a computer program with a built-in encryption password that cannot be extracted by an attacker.
  • First described in 2018 a program at UCLA[1] developed a technique considered prior to that to be impossible. An algorithm that could serve as the basis for nearly any imaginable type of cryptographic protocol.


  • The ability of a computer program to hide its internal operations for view has be a goal, and a claim of many obfuscation methods for decades.
  • As soon as an obfuscation program was release, it as broken. Often within days of its release.
  • In 2001 the strongest form of obfuscation was proven to be impossible.[2]


The proposed solution[3] works only if some of the current assumptions continue to hold. The most serious challenge to these assumptions is from the Quantum Computing Threat for which mitigations are pending.


  1. Erica Klarreich, Computer Scientists Achieve the ‘Crown Jewel’ of Cryptography. Wired (2020-11-15)
  2. Boaz Barak +6, On the (Im)possibility of Obfuscating Programs IACR (2001-08-02)
  3. Aayush Jain* Huijia Lin† Amit Sahai The Indistinguishability Obfuscation from Well-Founded Assumptions {2020-11-12) IACR