DistProv-Data Provenance in Distributed Cloud for Secure Transfer of Digital Assets with Ethereum Blockchain using ZKP

DistProv-Data Provenance in Distributed Cloud for Secure Transfer of Digital Assets with Ethereum Blockchain using ZKP

Navya Gouru, NagaLakshmi Vadlamani
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/IJOSSP.2019070101
(Individual Articles)
No Current Special Offers


The importance and usage of the distributed cloud is increasing rapidly over a traditionally centralized cloud for the storing and exchanging of digital assets between untrusted parties in many business sectors. Storing the digital assets in the distributed cloud is considered superior to traditional cloud computing in terms of environmentally friendly, cost, security and other technical dimensions. In this article, a contemporary architecture DistProv is proposed where an open source distributed cloud IPFS is used to store and transfer the digital assets between the consignor and consignee. These two are untrusted parties exchanging sensitive documents secured by cryptographic algorithms with permission-based access verified by ethereum smart contracts using zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) and simultaneously publishing the provenance data about the digital asset as a transaction on the blockchain. This article also discusses on verifying the integrity of the digital assets and authentication of the consignor and thus preserving a strong CIA triad.
Article Preview


Trust is one of the persisting issues in centralized cloud computing where the most extensively publicized security breaches are related to involvement with the third parties. Sustaining centralized data centers farms involves various challenges like maintaining lots of servers, availability and uptime round the clock, maintenance cost and performance issue and better staffing productivity. In contrast, distributed cloud storage does not rely on the server farms but every node that is the part of the network, rent out their excess hard disk space to store the information and also each node that provides storage space is incentivized based on the size they rent for storage. Distributed cloud has advantages like eco-friendly, involves high upload and download speed, rewarding the host servers and distributed geographically. Data Provenance is a major influential component in cloud security as it detects data tampering and uncovers unauthorized access. Data provenance is the mechanism that derives information about the lineage of data from its original sources. Apart from tracking, ensuring the integrity and accuracy and securely maintaining the tamper-proof data provenance is a challenge as data provenance may also contain sensitive information.

Blockchain provides secured data provenance as the information stored on the blockchain is immutable, reliable and secured. The blockchain is a distributed ledger that stores digital records as transactions in a block with chronological order. The transaction is verified by the nodes across the distributed blockchain network before publishing in a block. The blockchain is structured in a single linked list in a linear way where the first block is called a genesis block. The superior features of blockchain include immutability where once the data is published it cannot be edited or deleted, it has no central mechanism that leads to no central point of failure, each block in the blockchain is identified with a cryptographic signature and holds retention property of all the transactions. Bitcoin (Nakamoto, 2008). A distributed digital currency is the world well-known implementation of Blockchain that uses a consensus mechanism to verify, confirm and record a transaction to transfer value in bitcoin.

In this paper, the authors propose a control flow diagram built on blockchain that is used for tamper-proof data provenance collected from storing and accessing the digital assets on a distributed cloud and transferring these assets between unreliable parties. These digital assets are encrypted and digitally signed by the consignor, who is the sender or owner of the document and also set permission on whom to access these assets. These permissions are set on ethereum smart contracts and the provenance data is verified and validation before publishing it to the blockchain. The authorization between the blockchain nodes accessing the verification script which resides on DistProv server is done with zero-knowledge proof to protect against unauthorized users.

The other sections of this paper are formulated as follows. The Background section provides an overview and background concepts related to DistProv that includes data provenance, distributed cloud storage, public blockchain vs private blockchain, ethereum smart contracts and zero-knowledge proof. The DistProv Control Flow Diagram section describes the DistProv control flow diagram that explains how Digital Assets stored on the Distributed cloud can be transferred securely with cryptography and publishing the provenance data on the blockchain using ZKP. The DistProv implementation with LegalProv section explains the implementation of proposed DistProv with a use case called LegalProv. The related work section compares DistProv with other approaches related to data provenance on the cloud using blockchain. Finally, the conclusion is discussed.

Complete Article List

Search this Journal:
Volume 15: 1 Issue (2024): Forthcoming, Available for Pre-Order
Volume 14: 1 Issue (2023)
Volume 13: 4 Issues (2022): 1 Released, 3 Forthcoming
Volume 12: 4 Issues (2021)
Volume 11: 4 Issues (2020)
Volume 10: 4 Issues (2019)
Volume 9: 4 Issues (2018)
Volume 8: 4 Issues (2017)
Volume 7: 4 Issues (2016)
Volume 6: 1 Issue (2015)
Volume 5: 3 Issues (2014)
Volume 4: 4 Issues (2012)
Volume 3: 4 Issues (2011)
Volume 2: 4 Issues (2010)
Volume 1: 4 Issues (2009)
View Complete Journal Contents Listing