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亚马逊获得加密和分布式数据存储两项专利

据Cointelegraph 11月14日报道,电子商务巨头亚马逊获得了两项与保护数字签名完整性和改进分布式数据存储方法相关的专利。美国专利商标局(USPTO)于11月13日由公布了这两项专利。

早在今年四月份,亚马逊就首次提交了第一份专利文件,它概述了一种“签名授权”的方法,这种方法允许一次性生成、分发、验证和撤销加密密钥,以此来“保护数字签名和加密通信的完整性”。

在这个专利所提议的系统中,这些加密密钥被排列在了密码学中称为“Merkle tree”的结构中,这是一种自下而上构造的哈希二叉树(binary tree)。

正如科技媒体平台Hackernoon所描述的那样,Merkle tree是区块链系统的“基本部分”,因为它允许高效且安全地验证大量数据:

Merkle Root汇总了相关交易中的所有数据,并将其存储在区块头中,它维护了数据的完整性。如果交易中的一个细节或交易的顺序发生了变化,那么Merkle Root也会发生变化。使用Merkle tree可以快速而简单地测试一个特定的交易是否包含在集合中。

根据这份最新公布的专利文件,亚马逊所提议的基于Merkle tree结构的加密系统旨在解决如何将签名权限从中心话实体下放给各个下属,这些下属将被授权并作为代表进行签名。

正如这份专利申请中所写到的:“签名的授权机构将提供密钥分发服务,从而向授权签名的代表分发加密密钥区块。授权签名的代表随后进一步联系密钥分发服务,并请求获得带有密钥的区块。

在给定的加密密钥“被标记为无效”的情况下,“该服务”将为验证实体提供与已撤销的加密密钥相关联的撤销值。亚马逊指出,在某些情况下,通过使用区块链可以实现关键密钥的撤销。

亚马逊发布的第二项专利最早是从2015年12月中旬首次进行申请的。这项专利涉及到了分布式数据存储的相关问题。

亚马逊的这份专利文件提出了一种“网格编码技术(grid encoding technique)”,该技术使用一组“分片(shards)”,其中每个分片代表存储在给定网格中数据项的逻辑分布。这项专利的申请中写道,这种方法可以使存储冗余达到最小化,同时还能提供最大程度的可用性、持久性和一定的恢复方法。

值得注意的是,Filecoin、Sia、Storj和Swarm等几家科技初创公司都曾试图利用区块链技术解决类似的分布式数据存储问题,它们的技术通常还结合了云存储的解决方案。

除了追求区块链、加密技术和分布式数据存储相关的专利,亚马逊还申请了专门针对加密货币的专利。在今年4月份,亚马逊技术公司获得了一项流数据交易市场的专利技术,该技术允许用户接收实时的加密货币交易数据。

E-commerce giant Amazon has won two patents related to methods for protecting the integrity of digital signatures and improving distributed data storage. The two patents were published by by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today, Nov. 13.

The first patent document, first filed in April of this year, outlines a “signature delegation” method for “protecting the integrity of digital signatures and encrypted communications,” by allowing for the generation, distribution, validation, and revocation of one-time-use cryptographic keys.

In the proposed system, these keys are arranged in what is known in cryptography as a “Merkle Tree” structure, which is a binary tree of hashes constructed from the bottom up.

As tech media platform Hackernoon outlines, Merkle Trees are a “fundamental part” of blockchain systems, as they allow for a large body of data to be efficiently and securely verified:

“The Merkle Root summarizes all of the data in the related transactions, and is stored in the block header. It maintains the integrity of the data. If a single detail in any of the transactions or the order of the transactions changes, so does the Merkle Root. Using a Merkle tree allows for a quick and simple test of whether a specific transaction is included in the set or not.”

According to the newly published patent document, Amazon’s proposed Merkle Tree-structured, encrypted system aims to tackle how to delegate signing authority from a central entity to the various subordinates that are authorized to sign on its behalf.

As the patent filing reads: “the signature authority provides a key-distribution service that distributes blocks of cryptographic keys to authorized signing delegates. An authorized signing delegate contacts the key-distribution service and requests a block of cryptographic keys.”

In cases where a given cryptographic key is “marked as invalid,” after a “key revocation service queries the Merkle tree of delegable keys,” then the service “provides the verifying entity with a revocation value associated with the revoked cryptographic key.” Amazon outlines that in some cases, the key revocation database may be implemented using blockchain.

Amazon’s second patent, released today and first filed mid-Dec. 2015, relates to issues pertaining to distributed data storage.

Amazon’s filing proposes a “grid encoding technique,” using groups of collected “shards,” where each shard represents a logical distribution of data items stored in a given grid. The patent filing suggests this method can help to minimize storage redundancy, while allowing for maximum availability, durability, and means of recovery.

Notably, several tech startups, such as Filecoin, Sia, Storj, and Swarm have all attempted to tackle similar issues with distributed data storage using blockchain technology, often combined with cloud storage solutions.

Beyond pursuing blockchain, cryptography and distributed data storage-related patents to expand its technological arsenal, Amazon has also filed for cryptocurrency-specific inventions. In April, Amazon Technologies was awarded a patent for a streaming data marketplace that would enable users to receive real-time crypto transaction data.

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