On security analysis of proof-of-elapsed-time (PoET)

Lin Chen, Lei Xu, Nolan Shah, Zhimin Gao, Yang Lu, Weidong Shi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

As more applications are built on top of blockchain and public ledger, different approaches are developed to improve the performance of blockchain construction. Recently Intel proposed a new concept of proof-of-elapsed-time (PoET), which leverages trusted computing to enforce random waiting times for block construction. However, trusted computing component may not be perfect and 100% reliable. It is not clear, to what extent, blockchain systems based on PoET can tolerate failures of trusted computing component. The current design of PoET lacks rigorous security analysis and a theoretical foundation for assessing its strength against such attacks. To fulfill this gap, we develop a theoretical framework for evaluating a PoET based blockchain system, and show that the current design is vulnerable in the sense that adversary can jeopardize the blockchain system by only compromising Θ (log log n/log n) fraction of the participating nodes, which is very small when n is relatively large. Based on our theoretical analysis, we also propose methods to mitigate these vulnerabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStabilization, Safety, and Security of Distributed Systems - 19th International Symposium, SSS 2017, Proceedings
EditorsPhilippas Tsigas, Paul Spirakis
PublisherSpringer-Verlag
Pages282-297
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9783319690834
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017
Event19th International Symposium on Stabilization, Safety, and Security of Distributed Systems, SSS 2017 - Boston, United States
Duration: Nov 5 2017Nov 8 2017

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume10616 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

Conference

Conference19th International Symposium on Stabilization, Safety, and Security of Distributed Systems, SSS 2017
CountryUnited States
CityBoston
Period11/5/1711/8/17

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