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This document is a working draft. Substantial changes are possible.

DiceMix Light

DiceMix Light is a cryptographic P2P mixing protocol. It enables a group of mutually distrusting peers, each of them holding an input message of identical size, to agree on the set of their input messages anonymously, i.e., without revealing the which peer sends which input message. The protocol provides this functionality without the help of a trusted proxy, and succeeds even in the presence of malicious peers trying to prevent the honest peers from completing the protocol.

DiceMix Light is inspired by DiceMix, an P2P mixing protocol optimized for a minimal number of communications rounds and require 4+2f communication rounds in the presence of f disrupting peers. DiceMix Light needs 4+3f communication rounds but requires far less computation and is simpler. We refer to the DiceMix paper for background on P2P mixing protocols and detailed definitions.

Communication Model

Peers are connected via a terminating reliable broadcast mechanism, e.g., a server receiving protocol messages from each peer and forwarding them to all other peers. The broadcast mechanism is responsible for ensuring that the same protocol message is forwarded to all other peers and for notifying the other peers when a peer has failed to send a protocol message in time.

Even if not strictly necessary, it is recommended that the peers communicate to the broadcast mechanism via a channel that provides confidentiality, authentication of the broadcast mechanism, and anonymity on the network level (i.e., unlinkability of sender and network identifiers such as IP addresses). This can be achieved by a broadcast mechanism reachable via a Tor Hidden Service.

Security Goals

A P2P mixing protocol provides two security guarantees.

  • Sender-Message Unlinkability

An attacker controlling the network (including the broadcast mechanism) and some peers is not able to tell which input message belongs to which honest peer. In more detail, define the anonymity set of an individual honest peer's message to be the set of all honest peers who have not been excluded for being offline. Then the case that peer p1 has sent input message m is computationally indistinguishable from the case that peer p2 has sent message m for all peers p1 and p2 in the anonymity set.

  • Termination

If the network (including the broadcast mechanism) is reliable and there are at least two honest peers, the protocol eventually terminates successfully for every honest peer.


Setup Assumptions

TODO: Write

Building Blocks

Finite Field

We need a finite field F of size q which is large enough to ensure that the probability of a collision is low when sum_num_msgs random field elements are sampled, where sum_num_msgs is the number of messages sent by the peers altogether. If a collision occurs, the peers involved in the collision will be excluded and cannot finish the protocol. Reasonable field size are for example q ≈ 2³¹ or q ≈ 2⁴⁰, yielding probabilities of around 4.6E-8 and 9.0E-11 for a fixed honest peer to be excluded in a run of the protocol, assuming this peer sends one message and there are 99 other messages sent in the run.


We need a group G where the discrete logarithm problem is hard.

Pseudorandom Generator

  • new_prg(seed) initializes a PRG with seed seed and tweak tweak.
  • Randomness can be obtained using calls such as prg.get_bytes(n) or prg.get_field_element().

Non-interactive Key Exchange

We need a non-interactive key exchange protocol secure in the CKS model.

  • (kesk, kepk) := new_ke_keypair(rand) generates a secret key and a public key. We assume that for every valid public key there is a unique corresponding secret key. (Note: For ECDH, this implies that setting kepk to be just the x-coordinate without an additional bit is not sufficient; kepk must determine the full curve point.)
  • validate_kepk(kepk) outputs true iff kepk is a valid public key.
  • shared_secret(kesk, kepk, my_id, their_id, tweak) derives the shared secret between party my_id with secret key kesk and their_id with public key kepk, using the tweak tweak.

Hash Functions

  • hash is a cryptographic hash function whose output is long enough to ensure collision resistance.
  • hash_into_group is a cryptographic hash function into the group G.

Both hash functions are modeled as random oracles.

Pseudocode Conventions

  • The (non-excluded) peers are stored in set P.
  • sgn(x) is the sign function.
  • ** denotes exponentiation.
  • ^ denotes XOR.
  • (+) and (*) denote addition and multiplication in the finite field F.
  • <+> and <*> denote the group operation and scalar multiplication in the group G.
  • String constants such as "KE" are symbolic, their actual representation as bytes is defined below.
  • Every peer p signs all its messages using the respective long-term signing key p.ltsk. The signatures are omitted in the pseudocode for readability. A peer who receives an incorrectly signed message immediately treats the sending peer as offline and discards the message.


run := -1
P_exclude := {}
(my_kesk, my_kepk) := (undef, undef)
(my_next_kesk, my_next_kepk) := (undef, undef)
my_confirmation := undef

if there are duplicate value in ids[] then
    fail "Duplicate peer IDs."

    run := run + 1

    if P_exclude = {} then
        // Key exchange
        // FIXME sign the kepk with the long-term key
        // (my_next_kesk, my_next_kepk) := new_ke_keypair()

        // In the first run, we perform a key exchange.
        // In later runs, we either confirm or exclude peers who have been offline or malicious in the
        // previous run.
        if run = 0 or my_confirmation != undef then
            broadcast "KECF" || my_next_kepk || my_confirmation
            receive "KECF" || p.next_kepk || p.confirmation from all p in P
                where validate_kepk(p.next_kepk)
                missing P_missing

            if my_confirmation != undef then
                // Check confirmation
                P_exclude := check_confirmations(msgs[], { | p in P U {my_id})})

                assert P_exclude ⊂ P_missing

                if P_exclude = {} then
                    return successfully

                my_confirmation := undef

            P := P \ P_missing

            // Publish ephemeral secret and determine malicious peers
            broadcast "KESK" || my_next_kepk || my_kesk
            receive "KESK" || p.next_kepk || p.kesk from all p in P
                where validate_kepk(p.next_kepk)
                missing P_missing

            P := P \ P_missing

            // Exclude peers who have sent unexpected protocol messages
            for all p in P do
                // Given p.seed, we can replay peer p's entire protocol execution, because the
                // protocol execution is deterministic except for the input messages to be mixed,
                // which we can recover from the DC round.
                replay peer p's expected protocol messages of the previous run by deriving them
                from p.seed and recovering peer p's purported input messages,
                and set p.slot_reservations[] to peer p's my_slot_reservations[] variable on the way

                if p has sent an unexpected message then
                    P := P \ {p}

            // Exclude pairs (p1, p2) of peers where both p1 and p2 have not sent unexpected
            // protocol messages but the slots of p1 and p2 collide
            for all (p1, p2) in P^2 for which there is i and j
            with p1.slot_reservations[i] = p2.slot_reservations[j] and (p1 != p2 or i != j) do
                P_exclude := P_exclude U {p1, p2}

            if P_exclude = {} then
                fail "Computationally unreachable"

        // Shift keys
        (my_kesk, my_kepk) := (my_next_kesk, my_next_kepk)
        (my_next_kesk, my_next_kepk) := (undef, undef)

    P := P \ P_exclude
    P_exclude := {}

    if |P| = 0 then
        fail "No peers left."

    // Build session ID
    ids[] := sort({ | p in P} U {my_id})

    sid := version || options || run || ids[0] || ... || ids[|P|]
    sid_hash := hash("SID" || sid)
    // FIXME more SIDs later?

    // Initialize private PRG for this run
    private_seed := hash("PRG" || sid_hash || my_id || kesk)
    private_prg = new_prg(private_seed)

    // Derive shared keys
    for all p in P do
        p.seed_dcexp := shared_secret(my_kesk, p.kepk, my_id,, sid_hash || "DCEXP")
        p.prg_dcexp := new_prg(p.seed_dcexp)
        p.seed_dcsimple := shared_secret(my_kesk, p.kepk, my_id,, sid_hash || "DC")
        p.prg_dcsimple := new_prg(p.seed_dcsimple)

    // Obtain messages
    my_msgs[] := fresh_msgs()
    my_num_msgs := |my_msgs[]|
    sum_num_msgs := my_num_msgs
    for all p in P do
        sum_num_msgs := sum_num_msgs + p.num_msgs

    // Run DC-net in group G
    my_dc_group := 0
    for i := 0 to my_num_msgs - 1 do
        my_dc_group := my_dc_group <+> hash_into_group("COMMIT" || my_kesk || sid_hash || my_id || i || my_msgs[i])

    for all p in P do
        my_dc_group := my_dc_group <+> (sgn(my_id - <*> p.prg_dcgroup.get_group_element())

    // Run a DC-net with exponential encoding for slot assignment
    my_dc[] := array of sum_num_msgs finite field elements, all initialized with 0
    my_slot_reservations[] := array of my_num_msgs finite field elements, all initialized with 0
    for j := 0 to my_num_msgs - 1 do
        my_slot_reservations[j] := private_prg.get_field_element()
        for i := 0 to sum_num_msgs - 1 do
            my_dc[i] := my_dc[i] (+) (my_slot_reservations[j] ** (i + 1))

    for all p in P do
        for i := 0 to sum_num_msgs - 1 do
            my_dc[i] := my_dc[i] (+) (sgn(my_id - (*) p.prg_dcexp.get_field_element())

    broadcast "SR" || my_dc_group || my_dc[0] || ... || my_dc[sum_num_msgs - 1]
    receive "SR" || p.dc_group || p.dc[0] || ... || p.dc[sum_num_msgs - 1] from all p in P
        missing P_exclude

    if P_exclude != {} then

    dc_combined[] := my_dc[]
    for all p in P
        for i := 0 to sum_num_msgs - 1 do
            dc_combined[i] := dc_combined[i] (+) p.dc[i]

    solve the equation system
        "for all 0 <= i < sum_num_msgs ,
         dc_combined[i] = (sum)(j := 0 to sum_num_msgs - 1, roots[j] ** (i + 1))"
         for the array roots[]

    all_slot_reservations[] := sort(roots[])

    // Run an XOR DC-net with slot assignment
    slot_size := |my_msgs[0]|

    slots[] := array of my_num_msg integers, initialized with undef
    ok := true
    for j := 0 to my_num_msgs - 1 do
        if there is exactly one i
        with all_slot_reservations[i] = my_slot_reservations[j] then  // constant time in i
            slots[j] := i
            ok := false

    if not ok then
        // Even though the run will be aborted, transmit the message in a deterministic slot.
        // This enables the peers to recompute our commitment.
        for j := 0 to my_num_msgs - 1 do
            slots[j] := j

    my_dc[] := array of |P| arrays of slot_size bytes, all initalized with 0
    for j := 0 to my_num_msgs - 1 do
        my_dc[slots[j]] := my_msgs[j]  // constant time in slots[j]

    for all p in P do
        for i := 0 to sum_num_msgs - 1 do
            my_dc[i] := my_dc[i] ^ p.prg_dcsimple.get_bytes(slot_size)

    if not ok then
        // Ensure that this DC-net will not be successful
        for i := 0 to sum_num_msgs - 1 do
            my_dc[i] := my_dc[i] ^ prg_private.get_bytes(slot_size)

    broadcast "DC" || my_dc[0] || ... || my_dc[sum_num_msgs - 1]
    receive "DC" || p.dc[0] || ... || p.dc[sum_num_msgs - 1] from all p in P
        missing P_exclude

    if P_exclude != {} then

    // Resolve the DC-net
    msgs[] := my_dc[]
    for all p in P do
        for i := 0 to sum_num_msgs - 1 do
            msgs[i] := msgs[i] ^ p.dc[i]
    msgs[] := sort(msgs[])

    // Resolve the DC-net in G and verify commitment
    commit1 := my_dc_group
    for all p in P do
        commit1 := commit1 <+> (sgn(my_id - <*> p.dc_group)

    commit2 := <0>
    for i := 0 to sum_num_msgs - 1 do
        commit2 := commit <+> hash_into_group(msgs[i])

    if commit1 != commit2 then

    for j := 0 to my_num_msgs - 1 do
        if there is no i with my_msgs[j] = msgs[i] then  // constant time in i and my_msgs[j]
            // One of our own messages is missing.
            continue  // (***)

    // Confirmation
    my_confirmation := confirm(msgs[], { | p in P U {my_id})})


Sender-Message Unlinkability

The security argument is similar to the one presented for the original DiceMix protocol.

Note: It is crucial that for every run, every honest peer either enters the confirmation phase or reveals the secret key of the key exchange. This holds true, because no honest peer will reveal the secret key after it has started confirmation; in particular it will use a fresh key after confirmation fails to ensure that the secret key will not be revealed in a further run.


For termination, we assume that the broadcast mechanism is honest, i.e., it delivers messages correctly and it does not equivocate.

Ignoring line (***), the honest peers, who are assumed to receive the same messages, hold by construction the same state in their consensus-critical public variables and take the same consensus-critical control flow decisions. Assume that there is a run in which an honest peer p1 hits line (***) and an honest peer p2 does not hit line (***). That implies that there is a message m1 of p1 that the attacker has replaced in the XOR DC-net and there is a message m2 of p2 that the attacker has not replaced in the XOR DC-net. Since the commitments verify, the attacker has either solved the generalized birthday problem in G, which happens only with negligible probability because the discrete logarithm problem is hard in G, or the attacker has replaced the sum of the messages hashes over M = {m1, m2, ...} with the sum of messages hashes over some M' with m1 ∉ M' and m2 ∈ M', which happens only with negligible probability because the attacker cannot predict m1 and m2 in the SR round.

By correctness of the protocol, a protocol run terminates if every peer sends expected messages and there is no collision of group elements in the slot reservation (and thus no slot collision). Consequently we can distinguish two cases if the protocol fails.

  1. There is a peer who has failed to send an expected message at least once.

The honest peers exclude this peer by construction.

  1. There is a slot collision but no peer involved in the slot has failed to send an expected message.

We show that then all peers involved in the message hash collision are malicious with overwhelming probability.

First, if only one peer is involved in the message hash collision, then this peer is obviously malicious with probability around 1/q.

Second, we consider the case that multiple peers are involved in a collision. If one peer was honest, then the other peers involved in the collision could have derived the group element sent by the honest user the slot reservation only probability around 1/q; observe that they cannot have copied the honest peer's slot reservation message either, because then their DC-netpads in the DC-net in the group G would be expected only probability around 1/q, as the derivation of the shared keys includes the peer ID.

Thus all peers involved in the slot collision are malicious with probability around 1/q, and the honest peers exclude at least one such malicious peer.

In both cases, the honest peers exclude at least one disruptive, i.e., malicious or offline, peer. Since all honest peers exclude the same disruptive peers, they all start the next run in the same consensus-critical state. At some point, only honest peers will remain in the protocol execution and the protocol either succeeds or fails because only one peer remains.

Possible Improvements

Only Sign the Key Exchange

In principle, it suffices to sign the key exchange messages. All other protocol messages do not need to be authenticated for sender-message unlinkability. So if signature verification is a bottleneck, then it is possible to drop the other signatures, which however adds complexity to the protocol as well as its analysis by giving the attacker much more possibility to fiddle with the protocol messages and reach possibly overlooked cases.


To the extent possible under law, the DiceMix contributors who associated CC0 with this document have waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this document.


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