Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2017/024

Searchable Encrypted Relational Databases: Risks and Countermeasures

Mohamed Ahmed Abdelraheem, Tobias Andersson and Christian Gehrmann

Abstract: We point out the risks of protecting relational databases via Searchable Symmetric Encryption (SSE) schemes by proposing an inference attack exploiting the structural properties of relational databases. We show that record-injection attacks mounted on relational databases have worse consequences than their file-injection counterparts on un- structured databases. Moreover, we discuss some techniques to reduce the effectiveness of inference attacks exploiting the access pattern leakage existing in SSE schemes. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work that investigates the security of relational databases protected by SSE schemes.

Category / Keywords: searchable symmetric encryption; relational databases; inference attacks; injection attacks; privacy constraints; vertical fragmentation

Original Publication (with minor differences): Data Privacy Management 12th International Workshop (co-located with ESORICS 2017)

Date: received 10 Jan 2017, last revised 1 May 2018

Contact author: moh ahm abdelraheem at gmail com

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Note: corrected some typos

Version: 20180501:150149 (All versions of this report)

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