Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Merkle Trees

  • Barbara Carminati
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_1492

Synonyms

Authentication trees; Hash trees; Merkle hash trees

Definition

Merkle trees are data structures devised to authenticate, with a unique signature, a set of messages, by at the same time making an intended verifier able to verify authenticity of a single message without the disclosure of the other messages. In particular, given a set of messages M = {m1,…, mn}, the Merkle tree build on them is a binary tree whose leaves contain the hash value of each message m in M, whereas internal nodes contain the concatenation of the hash values corresponding to its children.

Key Point

A Merkle tree is a data structure introduced by Merkle in 1979 [1] to improve the Lamport-Diffie one-time signature scheme [2]. In this digital signature scheme, keys can be used to sign, at most, one message. This implies that for each signed message a new public key has to be generated and published. As consequence, Lamport-Diffie one-time digital signature scheme requires publishing a large amount of...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Merkle R. Secrecy, Authentication, and public key systems. Electrical Engineering, PhD Thesis, Stanford University, 1979.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Lamport L. Constructing digital signatures from a one-way function. Technical Report CSL-98, SRI International, Palo Alto, 1979.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Theoretical and Applied ScienceUniversity of InsubriaVareseItaly

Section editors and affiliations

  • Elena Ferrari
    • 1
  1. 1.DiSTAUniv. of InsubriaVareseItaly