Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2021/796

How Byzantine is a Send Corruption?

Karim Eldefrawy and Julian Loss and Ben Terner

Abstract: Consensus protocols enable $n$ parties, each holding some input string, to agree on a common output even in the presence of corrupted parties. While the problem is well understood in the classic byzantine setting, recent work has pushed to understand the problem when realistic types of failures are considered and a majority of parties may be corrupt. Garay and Perry consider a model with both byzantine and crash faults and develop a corruption-optimal protocol with perfect security tolerating $t_c$ crash faults and $t_b$ byzantine faults for $n>t_c+3t_b$. Follow up work by Zikas, Hauser, and Maurer extends the model by considering receive-corrupt parties that may not receive messages sent to them, and send-corrupt parties whose sent messages may be dropped. Otherwise, receive-corrupt and send-corrupt parties behave honestly and their inputs and outputs are considered by the security definitions. Zikas, Hauser, and Maurer gave a perfectly secure, linear-round protocol for $n > t_r+t_s+3t_b$, where $t_r$ and $t_s$ represent thresholds on the number of parties that are receive- or send-corrupted.

In this paper we ask ``what are optimal thresholds in the cryptographic setting that can be tolerated with such mixes of corruptions and faults?" We develop an expected-constant round protocol tolerating $n > t_r+2t_s+2t_b$. We are unable to prove optimality of our protocol's corruption budget in the general case; however, when we constrain the adversary to either drop all or none of a sender's messages in a round, we prove our protocol achieves an optimal threshold of $n > t_r+t_s+2t_b$. We denote this weakening of a send corruption a \emph{spotty send corruption}.

In light of this difference in corruption tolerance due to our weakening of a send corruption, we ask ``how close (with respect to corruption thresholds) to a byzantine corruption is a send corruption?" We provide a treatment of the difficulty of dealing with send corruptions in protocols with sublinear rounds. As an illustrative and surprising example (even though not in sublinear rounds), we show that the classical Dolev-Strong broadcast protocol degrades from $n > t_b$ corruptions in the byzantine-only model to $n > 2t_s+2t_b$ when send-corrupt parties' outputs must be consistent with honest parties; we also show why other recent dishonest-majority broadcast protocols degrade similarly. We leave open the question of optimal corruption tolerance for both send- and byzantine corruptions.

Category / Keywords: cryptographic protocols / consensus, broadcast, send corruptions, dishonest majority

Date: received 11 Jun 2021, last revised 11 Jun 2021

Contact author: bterner at uci edu, julianloss at gmail com, karim eldefrawy at sri com

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Version: 20210614:134642 (All versions of this report)

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