Amazon Obtains Patent for Methods to Protect Digital Signatures, Improve Distributed Data Storage

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted e-commerce giant Amazon two patents for methods to safeguard the integrity of digital signatures and improving data storage in distributed computing networks.

The two patent documents were published by the USPTO on November 13.

The first patent document (filed in April this year) introduces a ‘Signature delegation’ and describes methods of generating, distributing, and revoking one-time-use cryptographic keys.

As per the document, “One-time-use cryptographic keys may be generated and used as part of a Lamport signature scheme, Winternitz signature scheme, or other cryptographic one-time signature scheme. Each one-time-use cryptographic key includes a secret key and an associated public key or hash value. A signature authority pre-generates a collection of one-time-use cryptographic keys that is used for generating digital signatures.”

“The collection of one-time-use cryptographic keys is generated from a secret seed value, or in some implementations, a set of related seed values, using a key-derivation method. The collection of one-time-use cryptographic keys is arranged in a Merkle tree, and hash values associated with the one-time-use cryptographic keys are used to cryptographically derive a root node of the Merkle tree which serves as a public key for the signature authority.”

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.

The second patent document (filed in December 2015) details methods, systems, and processes for storing original data of data archives on data storage systems using grid encoding techniques.

Quoting the document, “Grid encoding techniques may be applied to data archives of a computing resource service provider by implementing the storage techniques described herein to increase, for example, availability, redundancy, and durability while minimizing the number of extra storage volume required. In many grid encoding techniques, the stretch factor (i.e., the number of storage volumes required to store a volume’s worth of data) can approach theoretical minimums as is detailed further herein.”

“Application of such grid encoding techniques allows the storage of original data of the individual archives and redundant storage in other archives while providing ways to recover from the extensive loss of many storage devices and even the recovery of data after the loss of entire data storage facilities.”

Amazon believes that this method can help reduce storage redundancy while allowing for maximum availability, durability, and means of recovery.

This is not the first time that USPTO has approved Amazon’s patent applications. Earlier, in April, Amazon was granted a patent for a streaming data marketplace that would enable users to receive real-time crypto transaction data.

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