Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2016/1114

Full Disk Encryption: Bridging Theory and Practice

Louiza Khati and Nicky Mouha and Damien Vergnaud

Abstract: We revisit the problem of Full Disk Encryption (FDE), which refers to the encryption of each sector of a disk volume. In the context of FDE, it is assumed that there is no space to store additional data, such as an IV (Initialization Vector) or a MAC (Message Authentication Code) value. We formally define the security notions in this model against chosen-plaintext and chosen-ciphertext attacks. Then, we classify various FDE modes of operation according to their security in this setting, in the presence of various restrictions on the queries of the adversary. We will find that our approach leads to new insights for both theory and practice. Moreover, we introduce the notion of a diversifier, which does not require additional storage, but allows the plaintext of a particular sector to be encrypted to different ciphertexts. We show how a 2-bit diversifier can be implemented in the EagleTree simulator for solid state drives (SSDs), while decreasing the total number of Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPS) by only 4%.

Category / Keywords: secret-key cryptography / disk encryption theory, full disk encryption, FDE, XTS, IEEE P1619, unique first block, diversifier, provable security

Original Publication (with major differences): CT-RSA 2017: Topics in Cryptology -- CT-RSA 2017

Date: received 25 Nov 2016, last revised 22 Feb 2017

Contact author: nicky at mouha be

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20170222:152736 (All versions of this report)

Short URL:

Discussion forum: Show discussion | Start new discussion

[ Cryptology ePrint archive ]