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Lightweight and Manageable Digital Evidence Preservation System on Bitcoin

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An effective and secure system used for evidence preservation is essential to possess the properties of anti-loss, anti-forgery, anti-tamper and perfect verifiability. Traditional architecture which relies on centralized cloud storage is depressingly beset by the security problems such as incomplete confidence and unreliable regulation. Moreover, an expensive, inefficient and incompatible design impedes the effort of evidence preservation. In contrast, the decentralized blockchain network is qualified as a perfect replacement for its secure anonymity, irrevocable commitment, and transparent traceability. Combining with subliminal channels in blockchain, we have weaved the transaction network with newly designed evidence audit network. In this paper, we have presented and implemented a lightweight digital evidence-preservation architecture which possesses the features of privacy-anonymity, audit-transparency, function-scalability and operation-lightweight. The anonymity is naturally formed from the cryptographic design, since the cipher evidence under encrypted cryptosystem and hash-based functions leakages nothing to the public. Covert channels are efficiently excavated to optimize the cost, connectivity and security of the framework, transforming the great computation power of Bitcoin network to the value of credit. The transparency used for audit, which relates to the proof of existence, comes from instant timestamps and irreversible hash functions in mature blockchain network. The scalability is represented by the evidence chain interacted with the original blockchain, and the extended chains on top of mainchain will cover the most of auditors in different institutions. And the lightweight, which is equal to low-cost, is derived from our fine-grained hierarchical services. At last, analyses of efficiency, security, and availability have shown the complete accomplishment of our system.

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Correspondence to Zhenyu Guan.

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Wang, M., Wu, Q., Qin, B. et al. Lightweight and Manageable Digital Evidence Preservation System on Bitcoin. J. Comput. Sci. Technol. 33, 568–586 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11390-018-1841-4

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  • blockchain
  • covert channel
  • data auditing
  • digital evidence