Brown CS PhD student Evangelia Anna (Lilika) Markatou has just won the Best Student Paper Award for her paper “Full Database Reconstruction with Access and Search Pattern Leakage” (coauthored with her advisor, Professor Roberto Tamassia) presented at the International Security Conference (ISC). They also coauthored a second paper on “Mitigation Techniques for Attacks on 1-Dimensional Databases that Support Range Queries” presented at the same conference. Held last week in New York City, ISC is an annual international conference covering research in theory and applications of information security.
“The widespread use of cloud computing,” the authors explain, “has enabled several database providers to store their data on servers in the cloud and answer queries from those servers. In order to protect the confidentiality of data in the cloud, a database can be stored in encrypted form and all queries can be executed on the encrypted database. Recent research results suggest that a curious cloud provider may be able to decrypt some of the items in the database after seeing a large number of queries and their (encrypted) results.” In this paper, Lilika and Roberto focus on one-dimensional databases that support range queries and develop an attack that can achieve full database reconstruction, inferring the exact value of every element in the database.
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