Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2009/293

Enhancing Attribute-based Encryption with Attribute Hierarchy

Jin Li and Qian Wang and Cong Wang and Kui Ren

Abstract: Attribute-based encryption (ABE) has been envisioned as a promising cryptographic primitive for realizing secure and flexible access control. However, ABE is being criticized for its high scheme overhead as extensive pairing operations are usually required. In this paper, we focus on improving the efficiency of ABE by leveraging a previously overlooked fact, i.e., the often-found hierarchical relationships among the attributes that are inherent to many access control scenarios. As the first research effort along this direction, we coin the notion of hierarchical ABE (\textsf{HABE}), which can be viewed as the generalization of traditional ABE in the sense that both definitions are equal when all attributes are independent. We further give a concrete \textsf{HABE} construction considering a tree hierarchy among the attributes, which is provably secure. More importantly, our construction exhibits significant improvements over the traditional ABE when attribute hierarchies exist.

Category / Keywords: public-key cryptography / Attribute-Based, Hierarchy, Encryption, Access Control, Pairing

Date: received 18 Jun 2009

Contact author: jli25 at iit edu

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Version: 20090624:065822 (All versions of this report)

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