Paper 2019/970

Puncturable Signatures and Applications in Proof-of-Stake Blockchain Protocol

Xinyu Li, Jing Xu, Xiong Fan, Yuchen Wang, and Zhenfeng Zhang


Proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain protocols are emerging as one of the most promising alternative to the energy-consuming proof-of-work protocols. However, one particularly critical threat in the PoS setting is the well-known long-range attacks caused by secret key leakage (LRSL attack). Specifically, an adversary can attempt to corrupt the secret keys corresponding to accounts possessing substantial stake at some past moment such that double-spend or erase past transactions, violating the fundamental persistence property of blockchain. Puncturable signatures, introduced by Bellare et al. (Eurocrypt 2016), provide a satisfying solution to construct practical proof-of-stake blockchain protocols resilient to LRSL attack, despite of the fact that existent constructions are not efficient enough for practical deployments. In this paper, we provide a systematic study of puncturable signatures and explore its applications in proof-of-stake blockchain protocol. The puncturing functionality we desire is for a particular part of message, like prefix, instead of the whole message. We formalize a security model that allows adversary for adaptive signing and puncturing queries, and show a construction with efficient puncturing operation based on Bloom filter data structure and strong Diffie-Hellman assumption. In order to further improve efficiency of puncturing, we introduce another primitive, called tag-based puncturable signature and present a generic construction based on hierarchical identity based signature scheme. Finally, we use puncturable signature to construct practical proof-of-stake blockchain protocols that are resilient to LRSL attack, while previously forward secure signature is used to immunize this attack. We implement our scheme and provide experimental results showing that in comparison with forward secure signatures, our constructions of puncturable signature perform substantially better on signature size, signing and verification efficiency, significantly on key update efficiency.

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Preprint. Minor revision.
Puncturable SignaturesPoSBlockchain
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xinyu2016 @ iscas ac cn
xujing @ iscas ac cn
2019-09-02: withdrawn
2019-08-29: received
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