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Practical techniques for searches on encrypted data

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3 Author(s)
Dawn Xiaoding Song ; California Univ., Berkeley, CA, USA ; Wagner, D. ; Perrig, A.

It is desirable to store data on data storage servers such as mail servers and file servers in encrypted form to reduce security and privacy risks. But this usually implies that one has to sacrifice functionality for security. For example, if a client wishes to retrieve only documents containing certain words, it was not previously known how to let the data storage server perform the search and answer the query, without loss of data confidentiality. We describe our cryptographic schemes for the problem of searching on encrypted data and provide proofs of security for the resulting crypto systems. Our techniques have a number of crucial advantages. They are provably secure: they provide provable secrecy for encryption, in the sense that the untrusted server cannot learn anything about the plaintext when only given the ciphertext; they provide query isolation for searches, meaning that the untrusted server cannot learn anything more about the plaintext than the search result; they provide controlled searching, so that the untrusted server cannot search for an arbitrary word without the user's authorization; they also support hidden queries, so that the user may ask the untrusted server to search for a secret word without revealing the word to the server. The algorithms presented are simple, fast (for a document of length n, the encryption and search algorithms only need O(n) stream cipher and block cipher operations), and introduce almost no space and communication overhead, and hence are practical to use today

Published in:

Security and Privacy, 2000. S&P 2000. Proceedings. 2000 IEEE Symposium on

Date of Conference:

2000