Mathematically rule out weaknesses
The research team at TU Wien analyzed how this transactional protocol could be improved and an alternative variant could be developed. You can analyze the security of such protocols using formal methods. So we can mathematically prove that our new protocol does not allow for certain errors and problems in any situation. “
In this way, you can rule out critical security attacks that were previously possible, as well as prevent long-term cash freezes: “So far, two rounds of communication have been necessary: in the first round, the funds are blocked, in the second round is released – or booked once. Other if there are problems. This could mean an extra day of delay for each user in the chain. With our protocol, the chain of connections should only run once, “explains Lukas Aumayr.
However, it is not only the basic logical structure of the new protocol that matters, but also its process. So, the team simulated in a virtual transaction network how the new technology behaved compared to the previous Lightning network. The advantages of the new protocol are becoming particularly clear: depending on the situation, for example on whether or not there are fraud attacks and attempts, the new protocol means 4 to 33 failed transactions compared to the traditional Lightning network.
Team TU Wien is already in touch with organizations operating in the Lightning Network. “Of course, we hope that our technology will be quickly used, or at least presented as a safer alternative to earlier technology,” says Lucas O’Mayer. “Technically, this can be implemented immediately.”
Original publication: L. Aumayr, P. Moreno-Sanchez, A. Kate, M. Maffei, Blitz: No obligation multi-hop payment insurance in two stagesUSENIX Security Seminar 2021