Piranha: A GPU Platform for Secure Computation


Jean-Luc Watson, Sameer Wagh, and Raluca Ada Popa, University of California, Berkeley


Secure multi-party computation (MPC) is an essential tool for privacy-preserving machine learning (ML). However, secure training of large-scale ML models currently requires a prohibitively long time to complete. Given that large ML inference and training tasks in the plaintext setting are significantly accelerated by Graphical Processing Units (GPUs), this raises the natural question: can secure MPC leverage GPU acceleration? A few recent works have studied this question in the context of accelerating specific components or protocols, but do not provide a general-purpose solution. Consequently, MPC developers must be both experts in cryptographic protocol design and proficient at low-level GPU kernel development to achieve good performance on any new protocol implementation.

We present Piranha, a general-purpose, modular platform for accelerating secret sharing-based MPC protocols using GPUs. Piranha allows the MPC community to easily leverage the benefits of a GPU without requiring GPU expertise. Piranha contributes a three-layer architecture: (1) a device layer that can independently accelerate secret-sharing protocols by providing integer-based kernels absent in current general-purpose GPU libraries, (2) a modular protocol layer that allows developers to maximize utility of limited GPU memory with in-place computation and iterator-based support for non-standard memory access patterns, and (3) an application layer that allows applications to remain completely agnostic to the underlying protocols they use.

To demonstrate the benefits of Piranha, we implement 3 state-of-the-art linear secret sharing MPC protocols for secure NN training: 2-party SecureML (IEEE S&P '17), 3-party Falcon (PETS '21), and 4-party FantasticFour (USENIX Security '21). Compared to their CPU-based implementations, the same protocols implemented on top of Piranha's protocol-agnostic acceleration exhibit a 16-48x decrease in training time. For the first time, Piranha demonstrates the feasibility of training a realistic neural network (e.g. VGG), end-to-end, using MPC in a little over one day. Piranha is open source and available at https://github.com/ucbrise/piranha.

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@inproceedings {281358,
author = {Jean-Luc Watson and Sameer Wagh and Raluca Ada Popa},
title = {Piranha: A {GPU} Platform for Secure Computation},
booktitle = {31st USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security 22)},
year = {2022},
isbn = {978-1-939133-31-1},
address = {Boston, MA},
pages = {827--844},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/usenixsecurity22/presentation/watson},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug,

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