Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2021/093

Response-Hiding Encrypted Ranges: Revisiting Security via Parametrized Leakage-Abuse Attacks

Evgenios M. Kornaropoulos and Charalampos Papamanthou and Roberto Tamassia

Abstract: Despite a growing body of work on leakage-abuse attacks for encrypted databases, attacks on practical response-hiding constructions are yet to appear. Response-hiding constructions are superior in that they nullify access-pattern based attacks by revealing only the search token and the result size of each query. Response-hiding schemes are vulnerable to existing volume attacks, which are, however, based on strong assumptions such as the uniform query assumption or the dense database assumption. More crucially, these attacks only apply to schemes that cannot be deployed in practice (ones with quadratic storage and increased leakage) while practical response-hiding schemes (Demertzis et al. [SIGMOD’16] and Faber et al. [ESORICS’15]) have linear storage and less leakage. Due to these shortcomings, the value of existing volume attacks on response-hiding schemes is unclear.

In this work, we close the aforementioned gap by introducing a parametrized leakage-abuse attack that applies to practical response-hiding structured encryption schemes. The use of non-parametric estimation techniques makes our attack agnostic to both the data and the query distribution. At the very core of our technique lies the newly defined concept of a counting function with respect to a range scheme. We propose a two-phase framework to approximate the counting function for any range scheme. By simply switching one counting function for another, i.e., the so-called “parameter” of our modular attack, an adversary can attack different encrypted range schemes. We propose a constrained optimization formulation for the attack algorithm that is based on the counting functions. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our leakage-abuse attack on synthetic and real-world data under various scenarios.

Category / Keywords: leakage, attack, encrypted database, range query

Original Publication (with minor differences): the Proceedings of the IEEE Symposium on Security & Privacy 2021 (IEEE S&P'21)

Date: received 25 Jan 2021, last revised 9 Jun 2021

Contact author: evgenios at berkeley edu

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Note: Added some related work

Version: 20210609:172722 (All versions of this report)

Short URL: ia.cr/2021/093


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