Anonymous Traceback for End-to-End Encryption

Erin Kenney, Qiang Tang, Chase Wu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


As secure messaging services become ubiquitous, the need for moderation tools that can function within these systems without defeating their purpose becomes more and more pressing. There are several solutions to deal with moderation on a local level, handling harassment and personal-scale issues, but handling wider-scale issues like disinformation campaigns narrows the field; traceback systems are designed for this, but most are incompatible with anonymity. In this paper, we present Anonymous Traceback, a traceback system capable of functioning within anonymous secure messaging systems. We carefully model security properties, provide two provably secure and simple constructions, with the most practical construction able to preserve anonymity for all but the original source of a reported abusive message. Our implementation shows integration to messaging systems such as Signal is feasible, with client-side overhead smaller than Signals’ sealed sender system, and low overhead overall.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComputer Security – ESORICS 2022 - 27th European Symposium on Research in Computer Security, Proceedings
EditorsVijayalakshmi Atluri, Roberto Di Pietro, Christian D. Jensen, Weizhi Meng
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9783031171451
StatePublished - 2022
Event27th European Symposium on Research in Computer Security, ESORICS 2022 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Sep 26 2022Sep 30 2022

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume13555 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference27th European Symposium on Research in Computer Security, ESORICS 2022
CityVirtual, Online

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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