Helger Lipmaa's publications

Eliminating Counterevidence with Applications to Accountable Certificate Management

Ahto Buldas, Peeter Laud and Helger Lipmaa. Eliminating Counterevidence with Applications to Accountable Certificate Management. Journal of Computer Security, 10 (3):273--296, 2002.

File: [.pdf (208 KB)] recommended.


This paper presents a method to increase the accountability of certificate management by making it intractable for the certification authority (CA) to create contradictory statements about the validity of a certificate. The core of the method is a new primitive, undeniable attester, that allows someone to commit to some set $S$ of bitstrings by publishing a short digest of S and to give attestations for any $x$ that it is or is not a member of $S$. Such an attestation can be verified by obtaining in authenticated way the published digest and applying a verification algorithm to the triple of the bitstring, the attestation and the digest. The most important feature of this primitive is intractability of creating two contradictory proofs for the same candidate element $x$ and digest. We give an efficient construction for undeniable attesters based on authenticated search trees. We show that the construction also applies to sets of more structured elements. We also show that undeniable attesters exist iff collision-resistant hash functions exist.

Keywords: Accountable certificate management, authenticated search trees, attesters, long-term authenticity, non-repudiation, public-key infrastructure, search trees, time-stamping.

Comment: Note: Special issue for ACM CCS 2000. One of the three invited papers. Supersedes [BLL00].


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