Multi-prover proof of retrievability

Maura B. Paterson, Douglas R. Stinson, Jalaj Upadhyay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


There has been considerable recent interest in "cloud storage" wherein a user asks a server to store a large file. One issue is whether the user can verify that the server is actually storing the file, and typically a challenge-response protocol is employed to convince the user that the file is indeed being stored correctly. The security of these schemes is phrased in terms of an extractor which will recover the file given any "proving algorithm" that has a sufficiently high success probability. This forms the basis of proof-of-retrievability (PoR) systems. In this paper, we study multiple server PoR systems. We formalize security definitions for two possible scenarios: (i) A threshold of servers succeeds with high enough probability (worst case), and (ii) the average of the success probability of all the servers is above a threshold (average case). We also motivate the study of confidentiality of the outsourced message. We give MPoR schemes which are secure under both these security definitions and provide reasonable confidentiality guarantees even when there is no restriction on the computational power of the servers. We also show how classical statistical techniques previously used by us can be extended to evaluate whether the responses of the provers are accurate enough to permit successful extraction. We also look at one specific instantiation of our construction when instantiated with the unconditionally secure version of the Shacham-Waters scheme. This scheme gives reasonable security and privacy guarantee. We show that, in the multi-server setting with computationally unbounded provers, one can overcome the limitation that the verifier needs to store as much secret information as the provers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-220
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Mathematical Cryptology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Proof of retrievability
  • multiple users
  • secret sharing


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