On Forward-Secure Storage
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We study a problem of secure data storage in a recently introduced Limited Communication Model. We propose a new cryptographic primitive that we call a Forward-Secure Storage (FSS). This primitive is a special kind of an encryption scheme, which produces huge (5 GB, say) ciphertexts, even from small plaintexts, and has the following non-standard security property. Suppose an adversary gets access to a ciphertext C = E(K,M) and he is allowed to compute any function h of C, with the restriction that |h(C)| ≪|C| (say: |h(C)| = 1 GB). We require that h(C) should give the adversary no information about M, even if he later learns K.
A practical application of this concept is as follows. Suppose a ciphertext C is stored on a machine on which an adversary can install a virus. In many cases it is completely infeasible for the virus to retrieve 1 GB of data from the infected machine. So if the adversary (at some point later) learns K, then M remains secret.
We provide a formal definition of the FSS, propose some FSS schemes, and show that FSS can be composed sequentially in a secure way. We also show connections of the FSS to the theory of compressibility of NP-instances (recently developed by Harnik and Naor).
KeywordsEncryption Scheme Random Oracle Security Parameter Random String Pseudorandom Generator
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