Crowdsourcing is a practice of using collective intelligence of a group in order to achieve a common goal to solve complex problems in an innovative way. It involves obtaining information and opinions from a group of participants who submit their data (i.e., solutions) via the Internet using some applications. The application domains, where crowdsourcing can be used, include, but not limited to, healthcare, environment, public safety, disaster management, and transportation. Despite the unprecedented advantages of crowdsourcing, security and privacy are rising concerns that need to be addressed. Therefore, it is crucially important to provide effective solutions that address the security and privacy issues in crowdsourcing systems. To this end, the salient features of blockchain technology such as immutability, decentralization, transparency and resiliency can play a pivotal role to address the afore-mentioned security challenges. To fill these gaps, in this paper, we propose a new blockchain-based user authentication and key agreement scheme for crowdsourcing (BUAKA-CS) through lightweight cryptographic techniques. The security of the BUAKA-CS is proved through the formal method and also through other mathematical methods that depict the resilience of BUAKA-CS against various types of possible attacks. Moreover, the robustness of BUAKA-CS against possible attacks is proved through widely-recognized automated software validation tools. We also compare BUAKA-CS with other existing schemes and prove its out performance in terms of security, functionality, computation and communication costs. Finally, we conduct the extensive blockchain-based simulations to measure the impact of BUAKA-CS on the performance of the system.
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The authors thank the anonymous reviewers, the associate editor and the editor-in-chief for their valuable feedback on the paper, which helped us to improve its quality and presentation. This work was supported by the Mathematical Research Impact Centric Support (MATRICS) project funded by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), India (Reference No. MTR/2019/000699 ) and also by the Ripple Centre of Excellence Scheme, CoE in Blockchain (Sanction No. IIIT/R&D Office/Internal Projects/001/2019), IIIT Hyderabad, India.
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- User authentication and key agreement