[Resource Topic] 2023/1775: Beyond Security: Achieving Fairness in Mailmen-Assisted Timed Data Delivery

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Beyond Security: Achieving Fairness in Mailmen-Assisted Timed Data Delivery

Authors: Shiyu Li, Yuan Zhang, Yaqing Song, Hongbo Liu, Nan Cheng, Hongwei Li, Dahai Tao, Kan Yang


Timed data delivery is a critical service for time-sensitive applications that allows a sender to deliver data to a recipient, but only be accessible at a specific future time. This service is typically accomplished by employing a set of mailmen to complete the delivery mission. While this approach is commonly used, it is vulnerable to attacks from realistic adversaries, such as a greedy sender (who accesses the delivery service without paying the service charge) and malicious mailmen (who release the data prematurely without being detected). Although some research works have been done to address these adversaries, most of them fail to achieve fairness.

In this paper, we formally define the fairness requirement for mailmen-assisted timed data delivery and propose a practical scheme, dubbed DataUber, to achieve fairness. DataUber ensures that honest mailmen receive the service charge, lazy mailmen do not receive the service charge, and malicious mailmen are punished. Specifically, DataUber consists of two key techniques: 1) a new cryptographic primitive, i.e., Oblivious and Verifiable Threshold Secret Sharing (OVTSS), enabling a dealer to distribute a secret among multiple participants in a threshold and verifiable way without knowing any one of the shares, and 2) a smart-contract-based complaint mechanism, allowing anyone to become a reporter to complain about a mailman’s misbehavior to a smart contract and receive a reward. Furthermore, we formally prove the security of DataUber and demonstrate its practicality through a prototype implementation.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2023/1775

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