Advances in Cryptology – CRYPTO 2013

Volume 8042 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 353-373

Highly-Scalable Searchable Symmetric Encryption with Support for Boolean Queries

  • David CashAffiliated withRutgers University
  • , Stanislaw JareckiAffiliated withUniversity of California Irvine
  • , Charanjit JutlaAffiliated withIBM Research
  • , Hugo KrawczykAffiliated withIBM Research
  • , Marcel-Cătălin RoşuAffiliated withIBM Research
  • , Michael SteinerAffiliated withIBM Research

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This work presents the design and analysis of the first searchable symmetric encryption (SSE) protocol that supports conjunctive search and general Boolean queries on outsourced symmetrically- encrypted data and that scales to very large databases and arbitrarily-structured data including free text search. To date, work in this area has focused mainly on single-keyword search. For the case of conjunctive search, prior SSE constructions required work linear in the total number of documents in the database and provided good privacy only for structured attribute-value data, rendering these solutions too slow and inflexible for large practical databases.

In contrast, our solution provides a realistic and practical trade-off between performance and privacy by efficiently supporting very large databases at the cost of moderate and well-defined leakage to the outsourced server (leakage is in the form of data access patterns, never as direct exposure of plaintext data or searched values). We present a detailed formal cryptographic analysis of the privacy and security of our protocols and establish precise upper bounds on the allowed leakage. To demonstrate the real-world practicality of our approach, we provide performance results of a prototype applied to several large representative data sets, including encrypted search over the whole English Wikipedia (and beyond).