REARGUARD: Secure Keyword Search Using Trusted Hardware

Wenhai Sun Virginia Tech, USA
Ruide Zhang Virginia Tech, USA
Wenjing Lou Virginia Tech & National Science Foundation, USA
Thomas Hou Virginia Tech, USA


Search over encrypted data (SE) enables a client to delegate his search task to a third-party server that hosts a collection of encrypted documents while still guaranteeing some measure of query privacy. Software-based solutions using diverse cryptographic primitives have been extensively explored, leading to a rich set of secure search indexes and algorithm designs. However, each scheme can only implement a small subset of information retrieval (IR) functions and often with considerable search information leaked. Recently, the hardware-based secure execution has emerged as an effective mechanism to securely execute programs in an untrusted software environment. In this paper, we exploit the hardware-based execution environment (TEE) and explore a software and hardware combined approach to address the challenging secure search problem. For function-ality, our design can support the same spectrum of plaintext IR functions. For security, we present oblivious keyword search techniques to mitigate the index search trace leakage. We build a prototype of the system using Intel SGX. We demonstrate that the proposed system provides broad support of a variety of search functions and achieves computation efficiency comparable to plaintext data search with elevated security protection.

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