Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2017/668

Spot the Black Hat in a Dark Room: Parallelized Controlled Access Searchable Encryption on FPGAs

Sikhar Patranabis and Debdeep Mukhopadhyay

Abstract: The advent of cloud computing offers clients with the opportunity to outsource storage and processing of large volumes of shared data to third party service providers, thereby enhancing overall accessibility and operational productivity. However, security concerns arising from the threat of insider and external attacks often require the data to be stored in an encrypted manner. Secure and efficient keyword searching on such large volumes of encrypted data is an important and yet one of the most challenging services to realize in practice. Even more challenging is to incorporate fine-grained client-specific access control - a commonly encountered requirement in cloud applications - in such searchable encryption solutions. Existing searchable encryption schemes in literature tend to focus on the use of specialized data structures for efficiency, and are not explicitly designed to address controlled access scenarios. In this paper, we propose a novel controlled access searchable encryption (CASE) scheme. As the name suggests, CASE inherently embeds access control in its key management process, and scales efficiently with increase in the volume of encrypted data handled by the system. We provide a concrete construction for CASE that is privacy-preserving under well-known cryptographic assumptions. We then present a prototype implementation for our proposed construction on an ensemble of Artix 7 FPGAs. The architecture for our implementation exploits the massively parallel capabilities provided by hardware, especially in the design of data structures for efficient storage and retrieval of data. The implementation requires a total of 192 FPGAs to support a document collection comprising of 100 documents with a dictionary of 1000 keywords. In addition, the hardware implementation of CASE is found to outperform its software counterpart in terms of both search efficiency and scalability. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first hardware implementation of a searchable encryption scheme to be reported in the literature.

Category / Keywords: Searchable Encryption, Access Control, Hardware Implementation, Parallel Architecture, FPGAs

Date: received 30 Jun 2017, last revised 5 Jul 2017

Contact author: sikhar patranabis at iitkgp ac in

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Version: 20170706:043514 (All versions of this report)

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