Sarah Meiklejohn's research while affiliated with Google Inc. and other places

Publications (76)

Article
Full-text available
We give a protocol for Asynchronous Distributed Key Generation (A-DKG) that is optimally resilient (can withstand \({{\varvec{f}}}<\frac{{{\varvec{n}}}}{{{\varvec{3}}}}\) faulty parties), has a constant expected number of rounds, has \({{\varvec{O}}}({\varvec{\lambda }} {{\varvec{n}}}^{{\varvec{3}}})\) expected communication complexity, and assumes...
Article
Full-text available
The Web public key infrastructure is essential to providing secure communication on the Internet today, and certificate authorities play a crucial role in this ecosystem by issuing certificates. These authorities may misissue certificates or suffer misuse attacks, however, which has given rise to the Certificate Transparency (CT) project. The goal...
Preprint
Full-text available
One of the defining features of Bitcoin and the thousands of cryptocurrencies that have been derived from it is a globally visible transaction ledger. While Bitcoin uses pseudonyms as a way to hide the identity of its participants, a long line of research has demonstrated that Bitcoin is not anonymous. This has been perhaps best exemplified by the...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Web public key infrastructure is essential to providing secure communication on the Internet today, and certificate authorities play a crucial role in this ecosystem by issuing certificates. These authorities may misissue certificates or suffer misuse attacks, however, which has given rise to the Certificate Transparency (CT) project. The goal...
Chapter
Payment channel networks, and the Lightning Network in particular, seem to offer a solution to the lack of scalability and privacy offered by Bitcoin and other blockchain-based cryptocurrencies. Previous research has focused on the scalability, availability, and crypto-economics of the Lightning Network, but relatively little attention has been pai...
Chapter
In this paper we extend the attack landscape of bribing attacks on cryptocurrencies by presenting a new method, which we call Pay-To-Win (P2W). To the best of our knowledge, it is the first approach capable of facilitating double-spend collusion across different blockchains. Moreover, our technique can also be used to specifically incentivize trans...
Chapter
A long standing question in the context of cryptocurrencies based on Nakamoto consensus is whether such constructions are incentive compatible, i.e., the intended properties of the system emerge from the appropriate utility model for participants. Bribing and other related attacks, such as front-running or Goldfinger attacks, aim to directly influe...
Conference Paper
We give a protocol for Asynchronous Distributed Key Generation (A-DKG) that is optimally resilient (can withstand f < n over 3 faulty parties), has a constant expected number of rounds, has Õ (n3) expected communication complexity, and assumes only the existence of a PKI. Prior to our work, the best A-DKG protocols required Ω(n) expected number of...
Chapter
In this paper, we introduce a distributed key generation (DKG) protocol with aggregatable and publicly-verifiable transcripts. Compared with prior publicly-verifiable approaches, our DKG reduces the size of the final transcript and the time to verify it from O(n2) to O(nlogn), where n denotes the number of parties. As compared with prior non-public...
Preprint
Full-text available
Pyramid schemes are investment scams in which top-level participants in a hierarchical network recruit and profit from an expanding base of defrauded newer participants. Pyramid schemes have existed for over a century, but there have been no in-depth studies of their dynamics and communities because of the opacity of participants' transactions. In...
Preprint
We give a protocol for Asynchronous Distributed Key Generation (A-DKG) that is optimally resilient (can withstand $f<\frac{n}{3}$ faulty parties), has a constant expected number of rounds, has $\tilde{O}(n^3)$ expected communication complexity, and assumes only the existence of a PKI. Prior to our work, the best A-DKG protocols required $\Omega(n)$...
Article
In this paper, we introduce a distributed key generation (DKG) protocol with aggregatable and publicly-verifiable transcripts. Compared with prior publicly-verifiable approaches, our DKG reduces the size of the final transcript and the time to verify it from O(n2) to O(nlog(n)), where n denotes the number of parties. As compared with prior non-publ...
Conference Paper
In this paper, we introduce a distributed key generation (DKG) protocol with aggregatable and publicly-verifiable transcripts. Compared with prior publicly-verifiable approaches, our DKG reduces the size of the final transcript and the time to verify it from O(n2) to O(nlogn) , where n denotes the number of parties. As compared with prior non-publi...
Preprint
In recent years, there has been increasing recognition of the benefits of having services provide auditable logs of data, as demonstrated by the deployment of Certificate Transparency and the development of other transparency projects. Most proposed systems, however, rely on a gossip protocol by which users can be assured that they have the same vi...
Article
Full-text available
Token-curated registries (TCRs) are a mechanism by which a set of users are able to jointly curate a reputable list about real-world information. Entries in the registry may have any form, so this primitive has been proposed for use—and deployed—in a variety of decentralized applications, ranging from the simple joint creation of lists to helping t...
Preprint
Payment channel networks, and the Lightning Network in particular, seem to offer a solution to the lack of scalability and privacy offered by Bitcoin and other blockchain-based cryptocurrencies. Previous research has already focused on the scalability, availability, and crypto-economics of the Lightning Network, but relatively little attention has...
Conference Paper
Token-curated registries (TCRs) are a mechanism by which a set of users are able to jointly curate a reputable list about real-world information. Entries in the registry may have any form, so this primitive has been proposed for use—and deployed—in a variety of decentralized applications, ranging from the simple joint creation of lists to helping t...
Conference Paper
Ever since their introduction, zero-knowledge proofs have become an important tool for addressing privacy and scalability concerns in a variety of applications. In many systems each client downloads and verifies every new proof, and so proofs must be small and cheap to verify. The most practical schemes require either a trusted setup, as in (pre-pr...
Chapter
Despite their usage of pseudonyms rather than persistent identifiers, most existing cryptocurrencies do not provide users with any meaningful levels of privacy. This has prompted the creation of privacy-enhanced cryptocurrencies such as Monero and Zcash, which are specifically designed to counteract the tracking analysis possible in currencies like...
Conference Paper
State channels are a leading approach for improving the scalability of blockchains and cryptocurrencies. They allow a group of distrustful parties to optimistically execute an application-defined program amongst themselves, while the blockchain serves as a backstop in case of a dispute or abort. This effectively bypasses the congestion, fees and pe...
Conference Paper
The core technical component of blockchains is consensus: how to reach agreement among a distributed network of nodes. A plethora of blockchain consensus protocols have been proposed---ranging from new designs, to novel modifications and extensions of consensus protocols from the classical distributed systems literature. The inherent complexity of...
Chapter
Interest in cryptocurrencies has skyrocketed since their introduction a decade ago, with hundreds of billions of dollars now invested across a landscape of thousands of different cryptocurrencies. While there is significant diversity, there is also a significant number of scams as people seek to exploit the current popularity. In this paper, we see...
Conference Paper
One of the defining features of a cryptocurrency is that its ledger, containing all transactions that have ever taken place, is globally visible. As one consequence of this degree of transparency, a long line of recent research has demonstrated that--even in cryptocurrencies that are specifically designed to improve anonymity--it is often possible...
Preprint
The feasibility of bribing attacks on cryptocurrencies was first highlighted in 2016, with various new techniques and approaches having since been proposed. Recent reports of real world 51% attacks on smaller cryptocurrencies underline the realistic threat bribing attacks present, in particular to permissionless cryptocurrencies. In this paper, bri...
Chapter
In this paper we initiate a quantitative study of the decentralization of the governance structures of Bitcoin and Ethereum. In particular, we scraped the open-source repositories associated with their respective codebases and improvement proposals to find the number of people contributing to the code itself and to the overall discussion. We then p...
Chapter
We present three smart contracts that allow a briber to fairly exchange bribes to miners who pursue a mining strategy benefiting the briber. The first contract, CensorshipCon, highlights that Ethereum’s uncle block reward policy can directly subsidise the cost of bribing miners. The second contract, HistoryRevisionCon, rewards miners via an in-band...
Conference Paper
Despite their usage of pseudonyms rather than persistent identifiers, most existing cryptocurrencies do not provide users with any meaningful levels of privacy. This has prompted the creation of privacy-enhanced cryptocurrencies such as Monero and Zcash, which are specifically designed to counteract the tracking analysis possible in currencies like...
Preprint
One of the defining features of a cryptocurrency is that its ledger, containing all transactions that have ever taken place, is globally visible. As one consequence of this degree of transparency, a long line of recent research has demonstrated that - even in cryptocurrencies that are specifically designed to improve anonymity - it is often possibl...
Preprint
Interest in cryptocurrencies has skyrocketed since their introduction a decade ago, with hundreds of billions of dollars now invested across a landscape of thousands of different cryptocurrencies. While there is significant diversity, there is also a significant number of scams as people seek to exploit the current popularity. In this paper, we see...
Conference Paper
Transparency is crucial in security-critical applications that rely on authoritative information, as it provides a robust mechanism for holding these authorities accountable for their actions. A number of solutions have emerged in recent years that provide transparency in the setting of certificate issuance, and Bitcoin provides an example of how t...
Article
This article presents the top ten obstacles towards the adoption of distributed ledgers, ranging from identifying the right ledger to use for the right use case to developing scalable consensus protocols that provide some meaningful notion of public verifiability.
Preprint
Blockchain-based consensus protocols present the opportunity to develop new protocols, due to their novel requirements of open participation and explicit incentivization of participants. To address the first requirement, it is necessary to consider the leader election inherent in consensus protocols, which can be difficult to scale to a large and u...
Preprint
Full-text available
The sharing of personal data has the potential to bring substantial benefits both to individuals and society, but these can be achieved only if people have confidence their data will not be used inappropriately. As more sensitive data is considered for sharing (e.g., communication records and medical records), and as it is increasingly used for mak...
Preprint
Full-text available
Among the now numerous alternative cryptocurrencies derived from Bitcoin, Zcash is often touted as the one with the strongest anonymity guarantees, due to its basis in well-regarded cryptographic research. In this paper, we examine the extent to which anonymity is achieved in the deployed version of Zcash. We investigate all facets of anonymity in...
Article
Among the now numerous alternative cryptocurrencies derived from Bitcoin, Zcash is often touted as the one with the strongest anonymity guarantees, due to its basis in well-regarded cryptographic research. In this paper, we examine the extent to which anonymity is achieved in the deployed version of Zcash. We investigate all facets of anonymity in...
Article
Full-text available
Cryptocurrencies allow users to securely transfer money without relying on a trusted intermediary, and the transparency of their underlying ledgers also enables public verifiability. This openness, however, comes at a cost to privacy, as even though the pseudonyms users go by are not linked to their real-world identities, all movement of money amon...
Article
Consensus protocols inherently rely on the notion of leader election, in which one or a subset of participants are temporarily elected to authorize and announce the network's latest state. While leader election is a well studied problem, the rise of distributed ledgers (i.e., blockchains) has led to a new perspective on how to perform large-scale l...
Conference Paper
In this paper we initiate a quantitative study of the decentralization of the governance structures of Bitcoin and Ethereum. In particular, we scraped the open-source repositories associated with their respective codebases and improvement proposals to find the number of people contributing to the code itself and to the overall discussion. We then p...
Article
We present three smart contracts that allow a briber to fairly exchange bribes to miners who pursue a mining strategy benefiting the briber. The first contract, CensorshipCon, highlights that Ethereum’s uncle block reward policy can directly subsidise the cost of bribing miners. The second contract, HistoryRevisionCon, rewards miners via an in-band...
Conference Paper
By design, existing (pre-processing) zk-SNARKs embed a secret trapdoor in a relation-dependent common reference strings (CRS). The trapdoor is exploited by a (hypothetical) simulator to prove the scheme is zero knowledge, and the secret-dependent structure facilitates a linear-size CRS and linear-time prover computation. If known by a real party, h...
Conference Paper
Among the now numerous alternative cryptocurrencies derived from Bitcoin, Zcash is often touted as the one with the strongest anonymity guarantees, due to its basis in well-regarded cryptographic research. In this paper, we examine the extent to which anonymity is achieved in the deployed version of Zcash. We investigate all facets of anonymity in...
Preprint
Transparency is crucial in security-critical applications that rely on authoritative information, as it provides a robust mechanism for holding these authorities accountable for their actions. A number of solutions have emerged in recent years that provide transparency in the setting of certificate issuance, and Bitcoin provides an example of how t...
Preprint
The blockchain initially gained traction in 2008 as the technology underlying bitcoin, but now has been employed in a diverse range of applications and created a global market worth over $150B as of 2017. What distinguishes blockchains from traditional distributed databases is the ability to operate in a decentralized setting without relying on a t...
Conference Paper
Bitcoin is a decentralized cryptocurrency that uses a ledger (or “blockchain”) to keep track of the transactions made between its users. Because it is a fully decentralized system and anyone can join, every transaction is by necessity public. Thus, to preserve some semblance of privacy, users in the system are represented not by their real-world id...
Conference Paper
In this paper, we demonstrate that various cryptographic constructions—including ones for broadcast, attribute-based, and hierarchical identity-based encryption—can rely for security on only the static subgroup hiding assumption when instantiated in composite-order bilinear groups, as opposed to the dynamic q-type assumptions on which their securit...
Conference Paper
In this paper, we initiate a formal study of transparency, which in recent years has become an increasingly critical requirement for the systems in which people place trust. We present the abstract concept of a transparency overlay, which can be used in conjunction with any system to give it provable transparency guarantees, and then apply the over...
Article
Full-text available
Bitcoin is a purely online virtual currency, unbacked by either physical commodities or sovereign obligation; instead, it relies on a combination of cryptographic protection and a peer-to-peer protocol for witnessing settlements. Consequently, Bitcoin has the unintuitive property that while the ownership of money is implicitly anonymous, its flow i...
Article
Bitcoin is a purely online virtual currency, unbacked by either physical commodities or sovereign obligation; instead, it relies on a combination of cryptographic protection and a peer-to-peer protocol for witnessing settlements. Consequently, Bitcoin has the unintuitive property that while the ownership of money is implicitly anonymous, its flow i...
Conference Paper
Current cryptocurrencies, starting with Bitcoin, build a decentralized blockchain-based transaction ledger, maintained through proofs-of-work that also serve to generate a monetary supply. Such decentralization has benefits, such as independence from national political control, but also significant limitations in terms of computational costs and sc...
Article
In this paper, we initiate a formal study of transparency, which in recent years has become an increasingly critical requirement for the systems in which people place trust. We present the abstract concept of a transparency overlay, which can be used in conjunction with any system to give it provable transparency guarantees, and then apply the over...
Article
Full-text available
Current cryptocurrencies, starting with Bitcoin, build a decentralized blockchain-based transaction ledger, maintained through proofs-of-work that also generate a monetary supply. Such decentralization has benefits, such as independence from national political control, but also significant limitations in terms of scalability and computational cost....
Conference Paper
Composite-order bilinear groups provide many structural features that are useful for both constructing cryptographic primitives and enabling security reductions. Despite these convenient features, however, composite-order bilinear groups are less desirable than prime-order bilinear groups for reasons of both efficiency and security. A recent line o...
Conference Paper
In this paper, we explore the role of privacy-enhancing overlays in Bitcoin. To examine the effectiveness of different solutions, we first propose a formal definitional framework for virtual currencies and put forth a new notion of anonymity, taint resistance, that they can satisfy. We then approach the problem from a theoretical angle, by proposin...
Article
A signature scheme is malleable if, on input a message and a signature, it is possible to efficiently compute a signature on a related message, for a transformation that is allowed with respect to this signature scheme. In this paper, we first provide new definitions for malleable signatures that allow us to capture a broader range of transformatio...
Article
We consider the problem of constructing anonymous credentials for use in a setting where the issuer of credentials is also the verifier, or more generally where the issuer and verifier have a shared key. In this setting we can use message authentication codes (MACs) instead of public key signatures as the basis for the credential system. To this en...
Article
Full-text available
Modern embedded computing systems such as medical devices, airplanes, and automobiles continue to dominate some of the most critical aspects of our lives. In such systems, the movement of information throughout a device must be tightly controlled to prevent violations of privacy or integrity. Unfortunately, bounding the flow of information can ofte...
Conference Paper
After more than a decade of usage, bilinear groups have established their place in the cryptographic canon by enabling the construction of many advanced cryptographic primitives. Unfortunately, this explosion in functionality has been accompanied by an analogous growth in the complexity of the assumptions used to prove security. Many of these assum...
Conference Paper
This paper introduces key-versatile signatures. Key-versatile signatures allow us to sign with keys already in use for another purpose, without changing the keys and without impacting the security of the original purpose. This allows us to obtain advances across a collection of challenging domains including joint Enc/Sig, security against related-k...
Conference Paper
Verifiably encrypted signatures were introduced by Boneh, Gentry, Lynn, and Shacham in 2003, as a non-interactive analogue to interactive protocols for verifiable encryption of signatures. As their name suggests, verifiably encrypted signatures were intended to capture a notion of encryption, and constructions in the literature use public-key encry...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Bitcoin is a purely online virtual currency, unbacked by either physical commodities or sovereign obligation; instead, it relies on a combination of cryptographic protection and a peer-to-peer protocol for witnessing settlements. Consequently, Bitcoin has the unintuitive property that while the ownership of money is implicitly anonymous, its flow i...
Conference Paper
Depending on the application, malleability in cryptography can be viewed as either a flaw or — especially if sufficiently understood and restricted — a feature. In this vein, Chase, Kohlweiss, Lysyanskaya, and Meiklejohn recently defined malleable zero-knowledge proofs, and showed how to control the set of allowable transformations on proofs. As an...
Article
In order to guarantee a fair and transparent voting process, electronic voting schemes must be verifiable. Most of the time, however, it is important that elections also be anonymous. The notion of a verifiable shuffle describes how to satisfy both properties at the same time: ballots are submitted to a public bulletin board in encrypted form, veri...
Conference Paper
This work identifies a new formal basis for hardware information flow security by providing a method to separate timing flows from other flows of information. By developing a framework for identifying these different classes of information flow at the gate-level, one can either confirm or rule out the existence of such flows in a provable manner. T...
Conference Paper
Malleability for cryptography is not necessarily an opportunity for attack; in many cases it is a potentially useful feature that can be exploited. In this work, we examine notions of malleability for non-interactive zero-knowledge (NIZK) proofs. We start by defining a malleable proof system, and then consider ways to meaningfully control the malle...
Conference Paper
In this paper, we examine the potential of using a thermal camera to recover codes typed into keypads in a variety of scenarios. This attack has the advantage over using a conventional camera that the codes do not need to be captured while they are being typed and can instead be recovered for a short period afterwards. To get the broadest sense of...
Conference Paper
In recent years, privacy-preserving toll collection has been proposed as a way to resolve the tension between the desire for sophisticated road pricing schemes and drivers' interest in maintaining the privacy of their driving patterns. Two recent systems in particular, VPriv (USENIX Security 2009) and PrETP (USENIX Security 2010), use modern crypto...
Conference Paper
Beginning with the work of Groth and Sahai, there has been much interest in transforming pairing-based schemes in composite-order groups to equivalent ones in prime-order groups. A method for achieving such transformations has recently been proposed by Freeman, who identified two properties of pairings using composite-order groups—“cancelling” and...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In recent years, many advances have been made in cryptography, as well as in the performance of communication networks and processors. As a result, many advanced cryptographic protocols are now efficient enough to be considered practical, yet research in the area re- mains largely theoretical and little work has been done to use these protocols in...
Article
Abstract Non-interactive zero-knowledge proofs, particularly those constructed on top of bilinear groups, have been signicantly studied in cryptography and used in a wide variety of ap- plications in recent years. One very powerful suite of techniques for proofs over bilinear groups is the Groth-Sahai proof system, which provides ecient non-interac...
Article
Group signatures are a modern cryptographic primitive that allow a member of a specific group (e.g., "the White House staff" or "employees of Corporation X that publish press releases") to sign messages on behalf of the group as a whole; i.e., without revealing their individual identities and thus providing them with a certain degree of anonymity a...

Citations

... Influence Operations. Influence operations (IOs) also known as information campaigns [101] or strategic information operations [96], are coordinated efforts to manipulate or corrupt public debate for a strategic goal [36]. Influence operations were shown to have at least short-term effects, that include political beliefs and behavior changes [26], increased xenophobia [104], and increased uncertainty about vaccines [76]. ...
... T HE rapid emergence of blockchain distributed ledger technology (DLT) [1], [2] and numerous cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and its competitors, which are not backed by any government, raises concerns about the stability of financial marketplaces and the conservancy of monetary policy. In response, many central banks (CBs) and monetary authorities worldwide have started to conduct research on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) [3]. ...
... A key point of significance is that blockchains may be permissioned or permissionless. Permissioned blockchains are used by centralized authorities in various forms (Allen et al., 2020;Kiff et al., 2020) whereas permissionless systems, with their protocol designs and processes of validation and mining transactions, ordinarily require crypto asset issuance. Nakamoto (2008) described a permissionless blockchain as exemplified by Bitcoin. ...
... Current implementations of PCN keep the balance a secret for privacy concerns. In [9], authors discussed that disclosing the balance information may allow an attacker to conduct attacks such as Lockdown attack [4] and payment retrospect [8]. In [12], the authors proposed the Flash algorithm while assuming the balance can be probed, violating the current PCN implementation. ...
... Synchronous protocols have the advantage of tolerating up to a minority corruption. While a myriad of DKG protocols [13,26,28,41,44] have been proposed in this setting, existing solutions fall short in one way or the other. For example, Pedersen's DKG [44] produces non-uniform keys in the presence of the adversary, the DKG protocol due to Gennaro et al. [26] has a high latency as it requires additional secret sharing using Feldman's VSS [22], and the protocol due to Gurkhan et al. [28] does not generate keys for discrete log-based cryptosystems. ...
... 67 • As an alternative, HBBFT introduces threshold public key encryption (TPKE) to encrypt the broadcast input. 2 Now, transactions are confidential against the adversary before they are solicited into the final output, so that the adversary cannot learn which broadcasts are necessary to delay for censoring a certain transaction. But TPKE decryption is costly. ...
... We obtain our A-DKG using a combination of two advances. The first is an Aggregatable Publicly Verifiable Secret Sharing (APVSS) scheme by Gurkan et al. [23] that uses a PKI. The second is a Validated Asynchronous Byzantine Agreement (VABA) protocol (as defined by Cachin, Kursawe, Petzold, and Shoup [14]) that uses a PKI but does not use a DKG, which is new to this paper. ...
... This leads to four types of transactions, which are tto-t, z-to-z, t-to-z and z-to-t transaction. Based upon several attacks (e. g. [4,34]), especially transactions between the two different pools seem to be vulnerable to attacks, as illustrated later in more detail. ...
... We obtain our A-DKG using a combination of two advances. The first is an Aggregatable Publicly Verifiable Secret Sharing (APVSS) scheme by Gurkan et al. [9] that uses a PKI. The second is a Validated Asynchronous Byzantine Agreement (VABA) protocol (as defined by Cachin et al. [10]) that uses a PKI but does not use a DKG, which is new to this paper. ...
... Against this background, privacy-oriented cryptocurrencies such as Zcash and Monero have been developed. They use cryptographic techniques such as zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs) to enable fully private payments (Fauzi et al., 2019). However, these cryptocurrencies do not conform with prevailing regulations, as unlimited anonymous payments open the door for illicit activities, such as money laundering and terrorist financing (Silfversten et al., 2020). ...