Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2021/342

N-for-1 Auth: N-wise Decentralized Authentication via One Authentication

Weikeng Chen and Ryan Deng and Raluca Ada Popa

Abstract: Decentralizing trust is a fundamental principle in the design of end-to-end encryption and cryptocurrency systems. A common issue in these applications is that users possess critical secrets. If these secrets are lost, users can lose precious data or assets. This issue remains a pain point in the adoption of these systems. Existing approaches such as backing up user secrets through a centralized service or distributing them across $N$ mutually distrusting servers to preserve decentralized trust are either introducing a central point of attack or face usability issues by requiring users to authenticate $N$ times, once to each of the $N$ servers.

We present N-for-1-Auth, a system that preserves distributed trust by enabling a user to authenticate to $N$ servers independently, with the work of only one authentication, thereby offering the same user experience as in a typical centralized system.

Category / Keywords: applications / TLS, secure multiparty computation, authentication

Date: received 15 Mar 2021, last revised 19 Apr 2021

Contact author: weikengchen at berkeley edu, rdeng2614 at berkeley edu

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20210419:184958 (All versions of this report)

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