Authentic Time-Stamps for Archival Storage

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

We study the problem of authenticating the content and creation time of documents generated by an organization and retained in archival storage. Recent regulations (e.g., the Sarbanes-Oxley act and the Securities and Exchange Commission rule) mandate secure retention of important business records for several years. We provide a mechanism to authenticate bulk repositories of archived documents. In our approach, a space efficient local data structure encapsulates a full document repository in a short (e.g., 32-byte) digest. Periodically registered with a trusted party, these commitments enable compact proofs of both document creation time and content integrity. The data structure, an append-only persistent authenticated dictionary, allows for efficient proofs of existence and non-existence, improving on state-of-the-art techniques. We confirm through an experimental evaluation with the Enron email corpus its feasibility in practice.