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Searchable Symmetric Encryption with Forward Search Privacy

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Changyu Dong



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by IEEE, 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Searchable symmetric encryption (SSE) has been widely applied in the encrypted database for queries in practice. Although SSE is powerful and feature-rich, it is always plagued by information leaks. Some recent attacks point out that forward privacy which disallows leakage from update operations, now becomes a basic requirement for any newly designed SSE schemes. However, the subsequent search operations can still leak a significant amount of information. To further strengthen security, we extend the definition of forward privacy and propose the notion of “forward search privacy”. Intuitively, it requires search operations over newly added documents do not leak any information about past queries. The enhanced security notion poses new challenges to the design of SSE. We address the challenges by developing the hidden pointer technique (HPT) and propose a new SSE scheme called Khons, which satisfies our security notion (with the original forward privacy notion) and is also efficient. We implemented Khons and our experiment results on large dataset (wikipedia) show that it is more efficient than existing SSE schemes with forward privacy.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Li J, Huang Y, Wei Y, Lv S, Liu Z, Dong C, Lou W

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing

Year: 2019

Volume: 18

Issue: 1

Pages: 460-474

Print publication date: 01/01/2021

Online publication date: 22/01/2019

Acceptance date: 12/01/2019

Date deposited: 31/01/2019

ISSN (print): 1545-5971

ISSN (electronic): 1941-0018

Publisher: IEEE


DOI: 10.1109/TDSC.2019.2894411


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