Differentially Private Access Patterns For Searchable Symmetric Encryption

Guoxing Chen The Ohio State University, USA
Tenhwang Lai Ohio State university, USA
Mike Reiter University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA
Yinqian Zhang The Ohio State University, USA


Searchable encryption enables searches to be performed on encrypted documents stored on an untrusted server without exposing the documents or the search terms to the server. Nevertheless, the server typically learns which encrypted documents match the query-the so-called access pattern-since the server must return those documents. Recent studies have demonstrated that access patterns can be used to infer the search terms in some scenarios. In this paper, we propose a framework to protect systems using searchable symmetric encryption from access-pattern leakage. Our technique is based on d-privacy, a generalized version of differential privacy that provides provable security guarantees against adversaries with arbitrary background knowledge.

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