Paper 2013/694

Write-Only Oblivious RAM based Privacy-Preserved Access of Outsourced Data

Lichun Li and Anwitaman Datta


Oblivious RAM (ORAM) has recently attracted a lot of interest since it can be used to protect the privacy of data user's data access pattern from (honest but curious) outsourced storage. This is achieved by simulating each original data read or write operation with some read and write operations on some real and dummy data items. This paper proposes two single-server write-only ORAM schemes and one multi-server write-only ORAM scheme, which simulate only the write operations and protect only the write pattern. The reduction of functions however allows to build much simpler and efficient (in terms of communication cost and storage usage) write-only ORAMs. Write-only ORAM can be used in conjunction with Private Information Retrieval (PIR), which is a technique to protect data user's read patterns, in order to protect both write and read patterns. Write-only ORAM may be used alone too, when only write patterns need protection. We study two usage scenarios: (i) data publishing/sharing: where a data owner shares the data with others, who only consume the published information. Data consumers should not have write access to the outsourced data, and thus cannot use ORAM to protect their read patterns in this scenario. To hide access patterns from the outsourced storage, the data owner can use ORAM to write data, and data consumers use PIR to read data. Alternatively, for some applications, a data consumer can trivially download all data once or regularly, and neither the data owner nor data consumers mind that the outsourced storage learns such read pattern. Compared with using traditional ORAM, using the simpler write-only ORAM here produces much less communication cost and/or client-side storage usage. Our single-server write-only ORAM scheme produces lower (typically one order lower) communication cost with the same client-side storage usage, or requires much less (typically at least one order less) client-side storage to achieve the same level of communication cost than the best known single-server full functional ORAM schemes do. Compared with the best known multi-server ORAM scheme, our write-only ORAM schemes have lower (typically one order lower) communication cost, or achieve the same communication cost with the same client-side storage usage in single-server setting. (ii) the data owner's personal use: Our write-only ORAM schemes combined with PIR can be used as building blocks for some existing full functional ORAM schemes. This leads to the reduction of the communication costs for two full-functional ORAM schemes by the factors of $O(\log N)$ and $O(\sqrt{\log N}\times \log\log N)$, where $N$ is the maximum data item count. One of these resulting schemes has a communication cost of $O(l)$, where $l$ is data item length. This is typically one order lower than the previous best known ORAM scheme's cost, which is $O(\log N \times l)$. The other resulting scheme also achieves $O(\log N \times l)$ communication cost, but its client-side storage usage is several orders lower than the best known single-server ORAM's.

Available format(s)
Cryptographic protocols
Publication info
Oblivious RAM
Contact author(s)
lilichun @ gmail com
2013-10-28: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Lichun Li and Anwitaman Datta},
      title = {Write-Only Oblivious RAM based Privacy-Preserved Access of Outsourced Data},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2013/694},
      year = {2013},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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