Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2015/949

Private Processing of Outsourced Network Functions: Feasibility and Constructions

Luca Melis and Hassan Jameel Asghar and Emiliano De Cristofaro and Mohamed Ali Kaafar

Abstract: Aiming to reduce the cost and complexity of maintaining networking infrastructures, organizations are increasingly outsourcing their network functions (e.g., firewalls, traffic shapers and intrusion detection systems) to the cloud, and a number of industrial players have started to offer network function virtualization (NFV)-based solutions. Alas, outsourcing network functions in its current setting implies that sensitive network policies, such as firewall rules, are revealed to the cloud provider. In this paper, we investigate the use of cryptographic primitives for processing outsourced network functions, so that the provider does not learn any sensitive information. More specifically, we present a cryptographic treatment of privacy-preserving outsourcing of network functions, introducing security definitions as well as an abstract model of generic network functions, and then propose a few instantiations using partial homomorphic encryption and public-key encryption with keyword search. We include a proof-of-concept implementation of our constructions and show that network functions can be privately processed by an untrusted cloud provider in a few milliseconds.

Category / Keywords: privacy in network function evaluation; homomorphic encryption; searchable encryption; software defined networking

Original Publication (with major differences): A preliminary version of this paper appears in the 1st ACM International Workshop on Security in Software Defined Networks & Network Function Virtualization. This is the full version.

Date: received 29 Sep 2015, last revised 24 Jan 2016

Contact author: hassan jameel at gmail com

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Note: Typo in the name of the third author.

Version: 20160125:001251 (All versions of this report)

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