Improving the Availability of Time-Stamping Services

  • Arne Ansper
  • Ahto Buldas
  • Märt Saarepera
  • Jan Willemson
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2119)


We discuss the availability questions that arise when digital time stamps are used for preserving the evidentiary value of electronic documents. We analyze the time-stamping protocols known to date and point out some weaknesses that have not been addressed so far in scientific literature. Without addressing and solving them, any advantage of the linkage-based protocols over the hash-and-sign time-stamping would be questionable. We present several new techniques and protocols for improving the availability of both the hash-and-sign and the linkage-based time-stamping services. We introduce fault-tolerant linking as a new concept to neutralize fault-sensitivity as the main weakness of linkage-based time-stamping.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Josh Benaloh and Michael de Mare. Efficient broadcast time-stamping. Technical Report 1, Clarkson University Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, August 1991.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Josh Benaloh and Michael de Mare. One-way accumulators: A decentralized alternative to digital signatures. In Advances in Cryptology-Eurocrypt’93, volume 765 of LNCS, pages 274–285. Springer-Verlag, 1994.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ahto Buldas and Peeter Laud. New linking schemes for digital time-stamping. In Proc. 1st International Conference on Information Security and Cryptology-ICISC’98, pages 3–13, Seoul, Korea, December 1998.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ahto Buldas, Peeter Laud, Helger Lipmaa, and Jan Villemson. Time-stamping with binary linking schemes. In Advances in Cryptology-CRYPTO’98, volume 1462 of LNCS, pages 486–501, Santa Barbara, 1998. Springer-Verlag.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ahto Buldas, Helger Lipmaa, and Berry Schoenmakers. Optimally efficient accountable time-stamping. In Public Key Cryptography-PKC’2000, volume 1751 of LNCS, pages 293–305, Melbourne, Australia, January 2000. Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Helger Lipmaa. Secure and Efficient Time-Stamping Systems. PhD thesis. Dissertationes Mathematicae Universitatis Tartuensis. Tartu University Press, 1999.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta. How to time-stamp a digital document. Journal of Cryptology, 3(2):99–111, 1991.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Secure Time/Date Stamping in a Public Key Infrastructure. Available at
  9. 9.
    Henri Massias, Xavier Serret, and Jean-Jaques Quisquater. Timestamps: Main issues on their use and implementation. In Proceedings of IEEE 8th International Workshops on enabling Technologies: Infrastructure for Collaborative Enterprises-Fourth International Workshop on Enterprise Security, pages 178–183, June 1999. ISBN 0-7695-0365-9.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Fernando Pinto and Vasco Freitas. Digital time-stamping to support non repudiation in electronic communications. In Proc. SECURICOM’96-14th worldwide Congress on Computer and Communications Security and Protection, CNIT, pages 397–406, Paris, June 1996.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arne Ansper
    • 1
  • Ahto Buldas
    • 1
    • 2
  • Märt Saarepera
    • 3
  • Jan Willemson
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Cybernetica; Akadeemia 21TartuEstonia
  2. 2.Tartu University Department of MathematicsTartuEstonia
  3. 3.Tokyo University RCASTJapan

Personalised recommendations