Practical Implementations of a Non-disclosure Fair Contract Signing Protocol

Chih-Hung WANG  Chih-Heng YIN  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences   Vol.E89-A   No.1   pp.297-309
Publication Date: 2006/01/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1337
DOI: 10.1093/ietfec/e89-a.1.297
Print ISSN: 0916-8508
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Information Security
cryptography,  fair exchange,  contract signing,  semi-trusted third party,  electronic commerce,  

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Contract signing is a practical application of the fair exchange of digital signatures. This application used to be realized by directly adopting the results of the fair exchange of signatures, which do not completely meet the requirements of the signing of a secret contract. The assistance of a trusted third party (TTP) and some cryptographic technology are required to allow two parties to exchange their signatures through the network in a fair manner because these two parties potentially may be dishonest or mistrust each other. This paper presents a subtle method of preventing the off-line TTP from gaining the exchanged signature and the corresponding message when a dispute occurs between the two parties wherein the TTP is required to take part in the exchange procedure. An advanced concept, the non-disclosure property, is proposed in order to prevent a party from misusing evidence left during the exchange process. Two approaches, namely the secret divide method and the convertible signature are demonstrated. To satisfy the properties of the traditional paper-based contract signing, the technique of multi-signature scheme is used in the proposed protocols.