[messaging] CONIKS

Mike Hearn mike at plan99.net
Sun Dec 21 04:25:15 PST 2014

This paper is relevant for e2e messaging:


*We present CONIKS, a system that provides automated key management for end
users capable of seamless integration into existing secure messaging
applications. In CONIKS, key servers maintain consistent directories of
username-to-public key bindings that allow participants to detect any
equivocation or unexpected key changes by malicious key servers. CONIKS
also preserves user’s privacy by ensuring that adversaries cannot harvest
large numbers of usernames from the directories. Our prototype chat
application extends the Off-the-Record Messaging plug-in for Pidgin. A
single commodity server can support up to 10 million users and clients need
only download less than 100 kB per day of additional data.*

They're doing CT-ish proofs that can show there aren't any unexpected keys
being published for a given user. You need a bit of network perspective to
ensure you're seeing the right tree heads and after that do self auditing.
What a user is meant to do if the audit fails is a bit unclear.
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