2023: Confidential Consortium Framework: Secure Multiparty Applications with Confidentiality, Integrity, and High Availability

Confidentiality, integrity protection, and high availability, abbreviated to CIA, are essential properties for trustworthy data systems. The rise of cloud computing and the growing demand for multiparty applications however means that building modern CIA systems is more challenging than ever. In response, we present the Confidential Consortium Framework (CCF), a general-purpose foundation for developing secure stateful CIA applications. CCF combines centralized compute with decentralized trust, supporting deployment on untrusted cloud infrastructure and transparent governance by mutually untrusted parties.

CCF leverages hardware-based trusted execution environments for remotely verifiable confidentiality and code integrity. This is coupled with state machine replication backed by an auditable immutable ledger for data integrity and high availability. CCF enables each service to bring its own application logic, custom multiparty governance model, and deployment scenario, decoupling the operators of nodes from the consortium that governs them.

2022: IA-CCF: Individual Accountability for Permissioned Ledgers

Permissioned ledger systems allow a consortium of members that do not trust one another to execute transactions safely on a set of replicas. Such systems typically use Byzantine fault tolerance (BFT) protocols to distribute trust, which only ensures safety when fewer than 1/3 of the replicas misbehave. Providing guarantees beyond this threshold is a challenge: current systems assume that the ledger is corrupt and fail to identify misbehaving replicas or hold the members that operate them accountable—instead all members share the blame.

We describe IA-CCF, a new permissioned ledger system that provides individual accountability. It can assign blame to the individual members that operate misbehaving replicas regardless of the number of misbehaving replicas or members. IA-CCF achieves this by signing and logging BFT protocol messages in the ledger, and by using Merkle trees to provide clients with succinct, universally-verifiable receipts as evidence of successful transaction execution. Anyone can audit the ledger against a set of receipts to discover inconsistencies and identify replicas that signed contradictory statements. IA-CCF also supports changes to consortium membership and replicas by tracking signing keys using a sub-ledger of governance transactions. IA-CCF provides strong disincentives to misbehavior with low overhead: it executes 47,000 tx/s while providing clients with receipts in two network round trips.

2019: CCF: A Framework for Building Confidential Verifiable Replicated Services

This paper presents CCF, a framework to build permissioned confidential blockchains. CCF provides a simple programming model of a highly-available data store and a universally-verifiable log that implements a ledger abstraction. CCF leverages trust in a consortium of governing members and in a network of replicated hardware-protected execution environments to achieve high throughput, low latency, strong integrity and strong confidentiality for application data and code executing on the ledger.