Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2014/344

Toward Robust Hidden Volumes using Write-Only Oblivious RAM

Erik-Oliver Blass and Travis Mayberry and Guevara Noubir and Kaan Onarlioglu

Abstract: With sensitive data being increasingly stored on mobile devices and laptops, hard disk encryption is more important than ever. In particular, being able to plausibly deny that a hard disk contains certain information is a very useful and interesting research goal. However, it has been known for some time that existing ``hidden volume'' solutions, like TrueCrypt, fail in the face of an adversary who is able to observe the contents of a disk on multiple, separate occasions. In this work, we explore more robust constructions for hidden volumes and present HIVE, which is resistant to more powerful adversaries with multiple-snapshot capabilities. In pursuit of this, we propose the first security definitions for hidden volumes, and prove HIVE secure under these definitions. At the core of HIVE, we design a new write-only Oblivious RAM. We show that, when only hiding writes, it is possible to achieve ORAM with optimal O(1) communication complexity and only poly-logarithmic user memory. This is a significant improvement over existing work and an independently interesting result. We go on to show that our write-only ORAM is specially equipped to provide hidden volume functionality with low overhead and significantly increased security. Finally, we implement HIVE as a Linux kernel block device to show both its practicality and usefulness on existing platforms.

Category / Keywords: applications / ORAM ; Hidden Volume Encryption ; Plausibly Deniable Encryption

Date: received 16 May 2014, last revised 21 Aug 2014

Contact author: blass at ccs neu edu

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20140821:191145 (All versions of this report)

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