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Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security

Preventing or Penalizing Equivocation in Decentralized Environments

Aniket Kate - Purdue University

Dec 09, 2015

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Abstract

Making conflicting statements to others, or equivocation, is a simple yet remarkably powerful tool of malicious participants in distributed systems of all kinds. In distributed computing protocols, equivocation leads to Byzantine faults and fairness issues. In this talk, I will cover my recent work towards preventing or penalizing equivocations in decentralized Systems.

In the first half of the talk, we study how the resilience of asynchronous distributed computing tasks such as Byzantine agreement and multiparty computation can be improved using an increment-only counter that implements non-equivocation, a mechanism to restrict a corrupted party from making conflicting statements to different (honest) parties. In the second half of the talk, we show how equivocation can be monetarily disincentivized by the use of crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin. To this end, we have designed completely decentralized non-equivocation (smart) contracts, which make it possible to penalize an equivocating party by the loss of its money.

About the Speaker

Prof. Aniket Kate is an assistant Professor in the the computer science department at Purdue university. He is an applied cryptographer and a privacy researcher. His research projects aim at bridging the large gap between cryptographic research, and systems security and privacy research.

Before joining Purdue in 2015, Prof. Kate was a junior faculty member and an independent research group leader at Saarland University in Germany, where he was heading the Cryptographic Systems Research Group. He was a postdoctoral researcher at Max Planck Institute for Software Systems (MPI-SWS), Germany for 2010 until 2012, and he received his PhD from the University of Waterloo, Canada in 2010.

Unless otherwise noted, the security seminar is held on Wednesdays at 4:30P.M. STEW G52, West Lafayette Campus. More information...

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