International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Matteo Maffei


Generalized Channels from Limited Blockchain Scripts and Adaptor Signatures
Decentralized and permissionless ledgers offer an inherently low transaction rate, as a result of their consensus protocol demanding the storage of each transaction on-chain. A prominent proposal to tackle this scalability issue is to utilize off-chain protocols, where parties only need to post a limited number of transactions on-chain. Existing solutions can roughly be categorized into: (i) application-specific channels (e.g., payment channels), offering strictly weaker functionality than the underlying blockchain; and (ii) state channels, supporting arbitrary smart contracts at the cost of being compatible only with the few blockchains having Turing-complete scripting languages (e.g., Ethereum). In this work, we introduce and formalize the notion of generalized channels allowing users to perform any operation supported by the underlying blockchain in an off-chain manner. Generalized channels thus extend the functionality of payment channels and relax the definition of state channels. We present a concrete construction compatible with any blockchain supporting transaction authorization, time-locks and constant number of Boolean and and or operations -- requirements fulfilled by many (non-Turing-complete) blockchains including the popular Bitcoin. To this end, we leverage adaptor signatures -- a cryptographic primitive already used in the cryptocurrency literature but formalized as a standalone primitive in this work for the first time. We formally prove the security of our generalized channel construction in the Universal Composability framework. As an important practical contribution, our generalized channel construction outperforms the state-of-the-art payment channel construction, the Lightning Network, in efficiency. Concretely, it halves the off-chain communication complexity and reduces the on-chain footprint in case of disputes from linear to constant in the number of off-chain applications funded by the channel. Finally, we evaluate the practicality of our construction via a prototype implementation and discuss various applications including financially secured fair two-party computation.
Computationally Sound Verification of Source Code
Increasing attention has recently been given to the formal verification of the source code of cryptographic protocols. The standard approach is to use symbolic abstractions of cryptography that make the analysis amenable to automation. This leaves the possibility of attacks that exploit the mathematical properties of the cryptographic algorithms themselves. In this paper, we show how to conduct the protocol analysis on the source code level (F# in our case) in a computationally sound way, i.e., taking into account cryptographic security definitions. We build upon the prominent F7 verification framework (Bengtson et al., CSF 2008) which comprises a security type-checker for F# protocol implementations using symbolic idealizations and the concurrent lambda calculus RCF to model a core fragment of F#. To leverage this prior work, we give conditions under which symbolic security of RCF programs using cryptographic idealizations implies computational security of the same programs using cryptographic algorithms. Combined with F7, this yields a computationally sound, automated verification of F# code containing public-key encryptions and signatures. For the actual computational soundness proof, we use the CoSP framework (Backes, Hofheinz, and Unruh, CCS 2009). We thus inherit the modularity of CoSP, which allows for easily extending our proof to other cryptographic primitives.
Zero-Knowledge in the Applied Pi-calculus and Automated Verification of the Direct Anonymous Attestation Protocol
We devise an abstraction of zero-knowledge protocols that is accessible to a fully mechanized analysis. The abstraction is formalized within the applied pi-calculus using a novel equational theory that abstractly characterizes the cryptographic semantics of zero-knowledge proofs. We present an encoding from the equational theory into a convergent rewriting system that is suitable for the automated protocol verifier ProVerif. The encoding is sound and fully automated. We successfully used ProVerif to obtain the first mechanized analysis of the Direct Anonymous Attestation (DAA) protocol. The analysis in particular required us to devise novel abstractions of sophisticated cryptographic security definitions based on interactive games.