[Resource Topic] 2023/190: Practical Security Analysis of Zero-Knowledge Proof Circuits

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Practical Security Analysis of Zero-Knowledge Proof Circuits

Authors: Hongbo Wen, Jon Stephens, Yanju Chen, Kostas Ferles, Shankara Pailoor, Kyle Charbonnet, Isil Dillig, Yu Feng


As privacy-sensitive applications based on zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs) gain increasing traction, there is a pressing need to detect vulnerabilities in ZKP circuits. This paper studies common vulnerabilities in Circom (the most popular domain-specific language for ZKP circuits) and describes a static analysis framework for detecting these vulnerabilities. Our technique operates over an abstraction called the circuit dependence graph (CDG) that captures key properties of the circuit and allows expressing semantic vulnerability patterns as queries over the CDG abstraction. We have implemented 9 different detectors using this framework and perform an experimental evaluation on over 258 circuits from popular Circom projects on Github. According to our evaluation, these detectors can identify vulnerabilities, including previously unknown ones, with high precision and recall.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2023/190

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