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Ciphertext-Policy Attribute-Based Encryption

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3 Author(s)
Bethencourt, J. ; Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA ; Sahai, A. ; Waters, B.

In several distributed systems a user should only be able to access data if a user posses a certain set of credentials or attributes. Currently, the only method for enforcing such policies is to employ a trusted server to store the data and mediate access control. However, if any server storing the data is compromised, then the confidentiality of the data will be compromised. In this paper we present a system for realizing complex access control on encrypted data that we call ciphertext-policy attribute-based encryption. By using our techniques encrypted data can be kept confidential even if the storage server is untrusted; moreover, our methods are secure against collusion attacks. Previous attribute-based encryption systems used attributes to describe the encrypted data and built policies into user's keys; while in our system attributes are used to describe a user's credentials, and a party encrypting data determines a policy for who can decrypt. Thus, our methods are conceptually closer to traditional access control methods such as role-based access control (RBAC). In addition, we provide an implementation of our system and give performance measurements.

Published in:

Security and Privacy, 2007. SP '07. IEEE Symposium on

Date of Conference:

20-23 May 2007