Paper 2018/497

Forward Private Searchable Symmetric Encryption with Optimized I/O Efficiency

Xiangfu Song, Changyu Dong, Dandan Yuan, Qiuliang Xu, and Minghao Zhao


Recently, several practical attacks raised serious concerns over the security of searchable encryption. The attacks have brought emphasis on forward privacy, which is the key concept behind solutions to the adaptive leakage-exploiting attacks, and will very likely to become a must-have property of all new searchable encryption schemes. For a long time, forward privacy implies inefficiency and thus most existing searchable encryption schemes do not support it. Very recently, Bost (CCS 2016) showed that forward privacy can be obtained without inducing a large communication overhead. However, Bost’s scheme is constructed with a relatively inefficient public key cryptographic primitive, and has poor I/O performance. Both of the deficiencies significantly hinder the practical efficiency of the scheme, and prevent it from scaling to large data settings. To address the problems, we first present FAST, which achieves forward privacy and the same communication efficiency as Bost’s scheme, but uses only symmetric cryptographic primitives. We then present FASTIO, which retains all good properties of FAST, and further improves I/O efficiency. We implemented the two schemes and compared their performance with Bost’s scheme. The experiment results show that both our schemes are highly efficient.

Available format(s)
Secret-key cryptography
Publication info
Published elsewhere. IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing
searchable encryptionsymmetric primitivesforward privacyIO efficiency
Contact author(s)
changyu dong @ gmail com
2018-05-23: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Xiangfu Song and Changyu Dong and Dandan Yuan and Qiuliang Xu and Minghao Zhao},
      title = {Forward Private Searchable Symmetric Encryption with Optimized I/O Efficiency},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2018/497},
      year = {2018},
      doi = {10.1109/TDSC.2018.2822294},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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