Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2018/209

Hidden in Plain Sight: Storing and Managing Secrets on a Public Ledger

Eleftherios Kokoris-Kogias and Enis Ceyhun Alp and Sandra Deepthy Siby and Nicolas Gaillya and Philipp Jovanovic and Linus Gasser and Bryan Ford

Abstract: Current blockchain systems are incapable of holding sensitive data securely on their public ledger while supporting accountability of data access requests and revocability of data access rights. Instead, they either keep the sensitive data off-chain as a semi-centralized solution or they just publish the data on the ledger ignoring the problem altogether. In this work, we introduce SCARAB the first secure decentralized access control mechanism for blockchain systems that addresses the challenges of accountability, by publicly logging each request before granting data access, and of revocability, by introducing collectively managed data access policies. SCARAB introduces, therefore, on-chain secrets, which utilize verifiable secret sharing to enable collectively managed secrets under a Byzantine adversary, and identity skipchains, which enable the dynamic management of identities and of access control policies. The evaluation of our SCARAB implementation shows that the latency of a single read/write request scales linearly with the number of access-securing trustees and is in the range of 200 ms to 8 seconds for 16 to 128 trustees.

Category / Keywords: applications / blockchain, decentralisation, access control, key management, threshold cryptography, fair-exchange

Date: received 21 Feb 2018

Contact author: eleftherios kokoriskogias at epfl ch

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Version: 20180222:161528 (All versions of this report)

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