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Publication Detail
ClaimChain: Improving the security and privacy of in-band key distribution for messaging
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    Kulynych B, Lueks W, Isaakidis M, Danezis G, Troncoso C
  • Publisher:
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    86, 103
  • Published proceedings:
    Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security
  • ISBN-13:
  • Status:
  • Name of conference:
    2018 Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society
  • Conference place:
    Toronto, Canada
  • Conference start date:
  • Conference finish date:
  • Print ISSN:
© 2018 Copyright held by the owner/author(s). The social demand for email end-to-end encryption is barely supported bymainstream service providers. Autocryptisa new community-driven open specification for e-mail encryption that attempts to respond to this demand. In Autocrypt the encryption keys are attached directly to messages, and thus the encryption can be implemented by email clients without any collaboration of the providers. The decentralized nature of this in-band key distribution, however, makes it prone to man-in-the-middle attacks and can leak the social graph of users. To address this problem we introduce ClaimChain, a cryptographic construction for privacy-preserving authentication of public keys. Users store claims about their identities and keys, as well as their beliefs about others, in ClaimChains. These chains form authenticated decentralized repositories that enable users to prove the authenticity of both their keys and the keys of their contacts. ClaimChains are encrypted, and therefore protect the stored information, such as keys and contact identities, from prying eyes. At the same time, ClaimChain implements mechanisms to provide strong non-equivocation properties, discouraging malicious actors from distributing conflicting or inauthentic claims. We implemented ClaimChain and we show that it offers reasonable performance, low overhead, and authenticity guarantees.
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