In this paper we formalize the notion of a ring signature, which makes it possible to specify a set of possible signers without revealing which member actually produced the signature. Unlike group signatures, ring signatures have no group managers, no setup procedures, no revocation procedures, and no coordination: any user can choose any set of possible signers that includes himself, and sign any message by using his secret key and the others ’ public keys, without getting their approval or assistance. Ring signatures provide an elegant way to leak authoritative secrets in an anonymous way, to sign casual email in a way which can only be verified by its intended recipient, and to solve other problems in multiparty computations. The main contribution of this paper is a new construction of such signatures which is unconditionally signer-ambiguous, provably secure in the random oracle model, and exceptionally efficient: adding each ring member increases the cost of signing or verifying by a single modular multiplication and a single symmetric encryption.
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