Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2016/920

Breaking Web Applications Built On Top of Encrypted Data

Paul Grubbs and Richard McPherson and Muhammad Naveed and Thomas Ristenpart and Vitaly Shmatikov

Abstract: We develop a systematic approach for analyzing client-server applications that aim to hide sensitive user data from untrusted servers. We then apply it to Mylar, a framework that uses multi-key searchable encryption (MKSE) to build Web applications on top of encrypted data. We demonstrate that (1) the Popa-Zeldovich model for MKSE does not imply security against either passive or active attacks; (2) Mylar-based Web applications reveal users’ data and queries to passive and active adversarial servers; and (3) Mylar is generically insecure against active attacks due to system design flaws. Our results show that the problem of securing client-server applications against actively malicious servers is challenging and still unsolved. We conclude with general lessons for the designers of systems that rely on property-preserving or searchable encryption to protect data from untrusted servers.

Category / Keywords: applications / searchable encryption, access patterns, definitions

Original Publication (with major differences): ACM CCS 2016

Date: received 21 Sep 2016

Contact author: pag225 at cornell edu

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20160922:014036 (All versions of this report)

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