Paper 2021/1035

SoK: Cryptanalysis of Encrypted Search with LEAKER - A framework for LEakage AttacK Evaluation on Real-world data

Seny Kamara, Abdelkarim Kati, Tarik Moataz, Thomas Schneider, Amos Treiber, and Michael Yonli


An encrypted search algorithm (ESA) allows a user to encrypt its data while preserving the ability to search over it. As all practical solutions leak some information, cryptanalysis plays an important role in the area of encrypted search. Starting with the work of Islam et al. (NDSS'12), many attacks have been proposed that exploit different leakage profiles under various assumptions. While these attacks improve our understanding of leakage, it can sometimes be difficult to draw definite conclusions about their practical performance. This is due to several reasons, including a lack of open-source implementations (which are needed to reproduce results), empirical evaluations that are conducted on restricted datasets, and in some cases reliance on relatively strong assumptions that can significantly affect accuracy. In this work, we address these limitations. First, we design and implement LEAKER, an open-source framework that evaluates the major leakage attacks against any dataset and that we hope will serve the community as a common way to evaluate leakage attacks. We identify new real-world datasets that capture different use cases for ESAs and, for the first time, include real-world user queries. Finally, we use LEAKER to systematically evaluate known attacks on our datasets, uncovering sometimes unexpected properties that increase or diminish accuracy. Our evaluation shows that some attacks work better on real-world data than previously thought and that others perform worse.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Published elsewhere. MINOR revision.EuroS&P 2022
Encrypted SearchCryptanalysisLeakage Attacks
Contact author(s)
treiber @ encrypto cs tu-darmstadt de
2022-03-10: revised
2021-08-16: received
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Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Seny Kamara and Abdelkarim Kati and Tarik Moataz and Thomas Schneider and Amos Treiber and Michael Yonli},
      title = {SoK: Cryptanalysis of Encrypted Search with LEAKER - A framework for LEakage AttacK Evaluation on Real-world data},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2021/1035},
      year = {2021},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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