Paper 2018/588

BISEN: Efficient Boolean Searchable Symmetric Encryption with Verifiability and Minimal Leakage

Guilherme Borges, Henrique Domingos, Bernardo Ferreira, João Leitão, Tiago Oliveira, and Bernardo Portela


The prevalence and availability of cloud infrastructures has made them the de facto solution for storing and archiving data, both for organizations and individual users. Nonetheless, the cloud’s wide spread adoption is still hindered by dependability and security concerns, particularly in applications with large data collections where efficient search and retrieval services are also major requirements. This leads to an increased tension between security, efficiency, and search expressiveness, which current state of the art solutions try to balance through complex cryptographic protocols that tradeoff efficiency and expressiveness for near optimal security. In this paper we tackle this tension by proposing BISEN, a new provably-secure boolean searchable symmetric encryption scheme that improves these three complementary dimensions byexploring the design space of isolation guarantees offered by novel commodity hardware such as Intel SGX, abstracted as Isolated Execution Environments (IEEs). BISEN is the first scheme to enable highly expressive and arbitrarily complex boolean queries, with minimal information leakage regarding performed queries and accessed data, and verifiability regarding fully malicious adversaries. Furthermore, by exploiting trusted hardware and the IEE abstraction, BISEN reduces communication costs between the client and the cloud, boosting query execution performance. Experimental validation and comparison with the state of art shows that BISEN provides better performance with enriched search semantics and security properties.

Available format(s)
Cryptographic protocols
Publication info
Published elsewhere. MINOR revision.SRDS 2019
Searchable Symmetric EncryptionTrusted HardwareCloud ComputingProvable Security
Contact author(s)
blfp @ inesctec pt
2019-08-01: last of 2 revisions
2018-06-12: received
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Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Guilherme Borges and Henrique Domingos and Bernardo Ferreira and João Leitão and Tiago Oliveira and Bernardo Portela},
      title = {BISEN: Efficient Boolean Searchable Symmetric Encryption with Verifiability and Minimal Leakage},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2018/588},
      year = {2018},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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