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In cloud computing, clients usually outsource their data to the cloud storage servers to reduce the management costs. While those data may contain sensitive personal information, the cloud servers cannot be fully trusted in protecting them. Encryption is a promising way to protect the confidentiality of the outsourced data, but it also introduces much difficulty to performing effective searches over encrypted information. Most existing works do not support efficient searches with complex query conditions, and care needs to be taken when using them because of the potential privacy leakages about the data owners to the data users or the cloud server. In this paper, using on line Personal Health Record (PHR) as a case study, we first show the necessity of search capability authorization that reduces the privacy exposure resulting from the search results, and establish a scalable framework for Authorized Private Keyword Search (APKS) over encrypted cloud data. We then propose two novel solutions for APKS based on a recent cryptographic primitive, Hierarchical Predicate Encryption (HPE). Our solutions enable efficient multi-dimensional keyword searches with range query, allow delegation and revocation of search capabilities. Moreover, we enhance the query privacy which hides users' query keywords against the server. We implement our scheme on a modern workstation, and experimental results demonstrate its suitability for practical usage.
Date of Conference: 20-24 June 2011