Enabling Search Over Encrypted Cloud Data With Concealed Search Pattern

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11112-11122
Journal / PublicationIEEE Access
Online published28 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


Searchable symmetric encryption (SSE) is a widely popular cryptographic technique that supports the search functionality over encrypted data on the cloud. Despite the usefulness, however, most of existing SSE schemes leak the search pattern, from which an adversary is able to tell whether two queries are for the same keyword. In recent years, it has been shown that the search pattern leakage can be exploited to launch attacks to compromise the confidentiality of the client's queried keywords. In this paper, we present a new SSE scheme which enables the client to search encrypted cloud data without disclosing the search pattern. Our scheme uniquely bridges together the advanced cryptographic techniques of chameleon hashing and indistinguishability obfuscation. In our scheme, the secure search tokens for plaintext keywords are generated in a randomized manner, so it is infeasible to tell whether the underlying plaintext keywords are the same given two secure search tokens. In this way, our scheme well avoids using deterministic secure search tokens, which is the root cause of the search pattern leakage. We provide rigorous security proofs to justify the security strengths of our scheme. In addition, we also conduct extensive experiments to demonstrate the performance. Although our scheme for the time being is not immediately applicable due to the current inefficiency of indistinguishability obfuscation, we are aware that research endeavors on making indistinguishability obfuscation practical is actively ongoing and the practical efficiency improvement of indistinguishability obfuscation will directly lead to the applicability of our scheme. Our paper is a new attempt that pushes forward the research on SSE with concealed search pattern.

Research Area(s)

  • chameleon hashing, cloud computing, indistinguishability obfuscation, search pattern leakage, Searchable symmetric encryption