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A Dolev-Yao-based Definition of Abuse-free Protocols

Detlef Kähler, Ralf Küsters, and Thomas Wilke

We propose a Dolev-Yao-based definition of abuse freeness for optimistic contract-signing protocols which, unlike other definitions, incorporates a rigorous notion of what it means for an outside party to be convinced by a dishonest party that it has the ability to determine the outcome of the protocol with an honest party, i.e., to determine whether it will obtain a valid contract itself or whether it will prevent the honest party from obtaining a valid contract. Our definition involves a new notion of test (inspired by static equivalence) which the outside party can perform. We show that an optimistic contract-signing protocol proposed by Asokan, Shoup, and Waidner is abusive and that a protocol by Garay, Jakobsson, and MacKenzie is abuse-free according to our definition. Our analysis is based on a synchronous concurrent model in which parties can receive several messages at the same time. This results in new vulnerabilities of the protocols depending on how a trusted third party reacts in case it receives abort and resolve requests at the same time.