NuCrypher is a decentralized key management system (KMS), encryption, and access control service. It enables private data sharing between arbitrary numbers of participants in public consensus networks, using proxy re-encryption to delegate decryption rights in a way that cannot be achieved by traditional symmetric or public-key encryption schemes.
A key management system (KMS) is an integrated approach for generating, distributing, and managing cryptographic keys for devices and applications. A KMS includes the backend functionality for key generation, distribution, and rotation as well as the client functionality for injecting, storing, and managing keys on devices. As the root of trust, it’s critical that a KMS is appropriately configured, managed, and protected. Historically, this has meant deploying a KMS on-premises in hardware security modules.
Public-key encryption (PKE) is a type of encryption where two parties (a sender and a receiver) exchange information without any required common secret. Every participant has a key pair (a public key pk and a secret/private key sk). If the sender has a key pair and the receiver has a key pair skr/pkr, the sender can encrypt a message with the receiver’s public key, and the receiver can decrypt with his secret key. Hybrid cryptosystems can be created that combine the efficiency of symmetric encryption with the convenience of PKE.
Signing encrypted messages
In public-key encryption algorithms, anyone can encrypt using puba. While this is useful, it also allows for malicious users of the network to encrypt data as if they were A. So the data has to be signed in order to prove the identity of the sender to the recipient. However, want to make it possible to anonymize the protocol because a public digital signature that authenticates the owner of the data also raises possibility of re encryption node attempting to extort money from the owner.
In the network, there are multiple re-encryption nodes which apply access management policies. Proxy re-encryption allows NuCypher KMS to split the trust between access management and decryption rights, without introducing an always-online always-trusted entity (such as a traditional key management system). Miners never see plaintext data, or anything which allows them to decrypt the data. They are solely responsible for storing
re-encryption keys and applying re-encryption functions.
It is highly beneficial for the security of the system that re-encryption nodes do not know what it is they are reencrypting. This prevents them from knowing which re-encryption keys to perform collusion attacks on (and trying to collude with all the network participants is infeasible when the network is decentralized). But pseudo-anonymity of re-encryption keys also enables us to run a challenge protocol. leave designing an anonymous protocol for re-encryption as future improvements. However, point out the following properties.
Relevancy of possible threats
In a mobile device management use case, the most important thing is to revoke access from a lost or stolen device before the data is compromised. Imagine a possible attack where someone steals the device and colludes with the relevant miners. As such, there must be no way for miners to identify a user, and vice versa. Another possible attack is a group of miners revoking access and demanding additional payment to re-encrypt. However, there is no incentive to do so since the owner of the data.
If miners misbehave, they risk losing their collateral deposit. However, than purposeful ill-intent, miner nodes could be the victim of a third-party attack. In order for miners to prevent their nodes from being compromised,they can use trusted computing on commonly accessible secure hardware, such as the latest generation of Intel SGX technology promises to run any computations in a secure environment. It was previously proposed to have a decentralized network for managing secrets relying on the SGX technology.
Maclane Wilkison CO-FOUNDER & CEO
Michael Egorov CO-FOUNDER & CTO
David Nuñez CRYPTOGRAPHER
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