- PostDoc Researcher
Publications (at TU Wien)
LightSwap: An Atomic Swap Does Not Require Timeouts at both BlockchainsHoenisch, P., Mazumdar, S., Moreno-Sanchez, P., & Ruj, S. (2023). LightSwap: An Atomic Swap Does Not Require Timeouts at both Blockchains. In J. Garcia-Alfaro, G. Navarro-Arribas, & N. Dragoni (Eds.), Data Privacy Management, Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technology (pp. 219–235). Springer Cham.
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-031-25734-6_14 Metadata
Abstract: ecurity and privacy issues with centralized exchange services have motivated the design of atomic swap protocols for decentralized trading across currencies. These protocols follow a standard blueprint similar to the 2-phase commit in databases: (i) both users first lock their coins under a certain (cryptographic) condition and a timeout; (ii-a) the coins are swapped if the condition is fulfilled; or (ii-b) coins are released after the timeout. The quest for these protocols is to minimize the requirements from the scripting language supported by the swapped coins, thereby supporting a larger range of cryptocurrencies. The recently proposed universal atomic swap protocol [IEEE S&P’22] demonstrates how to swap coins whose scripting language only supports the verification of a digital signature on a transaction. However, the timeout functionality is cryptographically simulated with verifiable timelock puzzles, a computationally expensive primitive that hinders its use in battery-constrained devices such as mobile phones. In this state of affairs, we question whether the 2-phase commit paradigm is necessary for atomic swaps in the first place. In other words, is it possible to design a secure atomic swap protocol where the timeout is not used by (at least one of the two) users? In this work, we present LightSwap, the first secure atomic swap protocol that does not require the timeout functionality (not even in the form of a cryptographic puzzle) by one of the two users. LightSwap is thus better suited for scenarios where a user, running an instance of LightSwap on her mobile phone, wants to exchange coins with an online exchange service running an instance of LightSwap on a computer. We show how LightSwap can be used to swap Bitcoin and Monero, an interesting use case since Monero does not provide any scripting functionality support other than linkable ring signature verification.
Strategic Analysis of Griefing Attack in Lightning NetworkMazumdar, S., Banerjee, P., Sinha, A., Ruj, S., & Roy, B. (2022). Strategic Analysis of Griefing Attack in Lightning Network. IEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management.
DOI: 10.34726/3581 Metadata
Abstract: Hashed Timelock Contract (HTLC) in Lightning Network is susceptible to a griefing attack. An attacker can block several channels and stall payments by mounting this attack. A state-of-the-art countermeasure, Hashed Timelock Contract with Griefing-Penalty (HTLC-GP) is found to work under the classical assumption of participants being either honest or malicious but fails for rational participants. To address the gap, we introduce a game-theoretic model for analyzing griefing attacks in HTLC. We use this model to analyze griefing attacks in HTLC-GP and conjecture that it is impossible to design an efficient protocol that will penalize a malicious participant with the current Bitcoin scripting system. We study the impact of the penalty on the cost of mounting the attack and observe that HTLC-GP is weakly effective in disincentivizing the attacker in certain conditions. To further increase the cost of attack, we introduce the concept of guaranteed minimum compensation, denoted as ζ, and modify HTLC-GP into HTLC-GPζ. By experimenting on several instances of Lightning Network, we observe that the total coins locked in the network drops to 28% for HTLC-GPζ, unlike in HTLC-GP where total coins locked does not drop below 40%. These results justify that HTLC-GPζ is better than HTLC-GP to counter griefing attacks.