Identifying Sensitive Associations in Databases for Release Control
In a database system, authorization-based access-control is generally the first line of defense, preventing unauthorized accesses to secret or sensitive data. However, this mechanism is susceptible to security breaches due to improper authorization (e.g., the general public is mistakenly granted access to a copy of sensitive data) and cannot block insider attacks (an authorized user accidentally or intentionally discloses secrets to outsiders). Supplementary to access-control, the release-control mechanism is to check all the outgoing documents for any leak of secret or sensitive information. This paper reports preliminary results on a specific release-control task, namely, how to deal with sensitive associations that need to be restricted from releasing. A sensitive association refers to a pair of values whose connection involves some secrets. The disclosure of such a pair may reveal the secretive connection and therefore should be controlled. The release control of sensitive associations is a very challenging and long term research problem. This paper introduces techniques to identify and represent sensitive associations hidden in a database.
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