Paper 2023/1621

Withdrawable Signature: How to Call off a Signature

Xin Liu, University of Wollongong
Joonsang Baek, University of Wollongong
Willy Susilo, University of Wollongong

Digital signatures are a cornerstone of security and trust in cryptography, providing authenticity, integrity, and non-repudiation. Despite their benefits, traditional digital signature schemes suffer from inherent immutability, offering no provision for a signer to retract a previously issued signature. This paper introduces the concept of a withdrawable signature scheme, which allows for the retraction of a signature without revealing the signer's private key or compromising the security of other signatures the signer created before. This property, defined as ``withdrawability'', is particularly relevant in decentralized systems, such as e-voting, blockchain-based smart contracts, and escrow services, where signers may wish to revoke or alter their commitment. The core idea of our construction of a withdrawable signature scheme is to ensure that the parties with a withdrawable signature are not convinced whether the signer signed a specific message. This ability to generate a signature while preventing validity from being verified is a fundamental requirement of our scheme, epitomizing the property of \textit{withdrawability}. After formally defining security notions for withdrawable signatures, we present two constructions of the scheme based on the pairing and the discrete logarithm. We provide security proof that both constructions are unforgeable under insider corruption and satisfy the criteria of withdrawability. We anticipate our new type of signature will significantly enhance flexibility and security in digital transactions and communications.

Note: This is an enhanced version of our paper, originally presented at the Information Security Conference (ISC) 2023. In this version, we corrected typos and revised the security proofs for withdrawability.

Available format(s)
Public-key cryptography
Publication info
Published elsewhere. Major revision. ISC 2023
Digital signaturesWithdrawable signature schemeWithdrawability
Contact author(s)
xl879 @ uowmail edu au
baek @ uow edu au
wsusilo @ uow edu au
2023-11-30: revised
2023-10-19: received
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Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Xin Liu and Joonsang Baek and Willy Susilo},
      title = {Withdrawable Signature: How to Call off a Signature},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2023/1621},
      year = {2023},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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