Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2014/680

Remarks on the Cryptographic Primitive of Attribute-based Encryption

Zhengjun Cao and Lihua Liu

Abstract: Attribute-based encryption (ABE) which allows users to encrypt and decrypt messages based on user attributes is a type of one-to-many encryption. Unlike the conventional one-to-one encryption which has no intention to exclude any partners of the intended receiver from obtaining the plaintext, an ABE system tries to exclude some unintended recipients from obtaining the plaintext whether they are partners of some intended recipients. We remark that this requirement for ABE is very hard to meet. An ABE system cannot truly exclude some unintended recipients from decryption because some users can exchange their decryption keys in order to maximize their own interests. The flaw discounts the importance of the cryptographic primitive.

Category / Keywords: foundations / Attribute-based encryption; one-to-one encryption; one-to-many encryption; full obligations; partial obligations; strong confidentiality; weak confidentiality

Date: received 14 Aug 2014

Contact author: liulh at shmtu edu cn

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Version: 20140831:131453 (All versions of this report)

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