Papers tagged as PETS
  1. Breach-Resistant Structured Encryption 2019 EncryptedDatabases PETS SearchableEncryption
    Ghous Amjad, Seny Kamara, Tarik Moataz

    Motivated by the problem of data breaches, we formalize a notion of security for dynamic structured encryption (STE) schemes that guarantees security against a snapshot adversary; that is, an adversary that receives a copy of the encrypted structure at various times but does not see the transcripts related to any queries. In particular, we focus on the construction of dynamic encrypted multi-maps which are used to build efficient searchable symmetric encryption schemes, graph encryption schemes and encrypted relational databases. Interestingly, we show that a form of snapshot security we refer to as breach resistance implies previously-studied notions such as a (weaker version) of history independence and write-only obliviousness. Moreover, we initiate the study of dual-secure dynamic STE constructions: schemes that are forward-private against a persistent adversary and breach-resistant against a snapshot adversary. The notion of forward privacy guarantees that updates to the encrypted structure do not reveal their association to any query made in the past. As a concrete instantiation, we propose a new dual-secure dynamic multi-map encryption scheme that outperforms all existing constructions; including schemes that are not dual-secure. Our construction has query complexity that grows with the selectivity of the query and the number of deletes since the client executed a linear-time rebuild protocol which can be de-amortized. We implemented our scheme (with the de-amortized rebuild protocol) and evaluated its concrete efficiency empirically. Our experiments show that it is highly efficient with queries taking less than 1 microsecond per label/value pair.

  2. Protecting the 4G and 5G Cellular Paging Protocols against Security and Privacy Attacks 2020 CellularProtocols PETS
    Ankush Singla, Syed Rafiul Hussain, Omar Chowdhury, Elisa Bertino, Ninghui Li

    This paper focuses on protecting the cellular paging protocol — which balances between the quality-of-service and battery consumption of a device— against security and privacy attacks. Attacks against this protocol can have severe repercussions, for instance,allowing attacker to infer a victim’s location, leak a victim’s IMSI, and inject fabricated emergency alerts.To secure the protocol, we first identify the underlying design weaknesses enabling such attacks and then pro-pose efficient and backward-compatible approaches to address these weaknesses. We also demonstrate the deployment feasibility of our enhanced paging protocol by implementing it on an open-source cellular protocol library and commodity hardware. Our evaluation demonstrates that the enhanced protocol can thwart attacks without incurring substantial overhead.

  3. Discontinued Privacy: Personal Data Leaks in Apple Bluetooth-Low-Energy Continuity Protocols 2020 Bluetooth PETS WirelessProtocols
    Guillaume Celosia, Mathieu Cunche

    Apple Continuity protocols are the underlying network component of Apple Continuity services which allow seamless nearby applications such as activity and file transfer, device pairing and sharing a network connection. Those protocols rely on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to exchange information between devices: Apple Continuity messages are embedded in the pay-load of BLE advertisement packets that are periodically broadcasted by devices. Recently, Martin et al. identified [1] a number of privacy issues associated with Apple Continuity protocols; we show that this was just the tip of the iceberg and that Apple Continuity protocols leak a wide range of personal information. In this work, we present a thorough reverse engineering of Apple Continuity protocols that we use to uncover a collection of privacy leaks. We introduce new artifacts, including identifiers, counters and battery levels, that can be used for passive tracking, and describe a novel active tracking attack based on Handoff messages. Beyond tracking issues, we shed light on severe privacy flaws. First, in addition to the trivial exposure of device characteristics and status, we found that HomeKit accessories betray human activities in a smarthome. Then, we demonstrate that AirDrop and Nearby Action protocols can be leveraged by passive observers to recover e-mail addresses and phone numbers of users. Finally, we exploit passive observations on the advertising traffic to infer Siri voice commands of a user.

  4. Computation on Encrypted Data using Dataflow Authentication 2020 AuthenticatedEncryption PETS
    Andreas Fischer, Benny Fuhry, Florian Kerschbaum, and Eric Bodden

    Encrypting data before sending it to the cloud protects it against hackers and malicious insiders, but requires the cloud to compute on encrypted data. Trusted (hardware) modules, e.g., secure enclaves like Intel’s SGX, can very efficiently run entire programs in encrypted memory. However, it already has been demonstrated that software vulnerabilities give an attacker ample opportunity to insert arbitrary code into the program. This code can then modify the data flow of the program and leak any secret in the program to an observer in the cloud via SGX side-channels. Since any larger program is rife with software vulnerabilities, it is not a good idea to outsource entire programs to an SGX enclave. A secure alternative with a small trusted code base would be fully homomorphic encryption (FHE) – the holy grail of encrypted computation. However, due to its high computational complexity it is unlikely to be adopted in the near future. As a result researchers have made several proposals for transforming programs to perform encrypted computations on less powerful encryption schemes. Yet, current approaches fail on programs that make control-flow decisions based on encrypted data. In this paper, we introduce the concept of data flow authentication (DFAuth). DFAuth prevents an adversary from arbitrarily deviating from the data flow of a program. Hence, an attacker cannot perform an attack as outlined before on SGX. This enables that all programs, even those including operations on control-flow decision variables, can be computed on encrypted data. We implemented DFAuth using a novel authenticated homomorphic encryption scheme, a Java bytecode-to-bytecode compiler producing fully executable programs, and SGX enclaves. A transformed neural network that performs machine learning on sensitive medical data can be evaluated on encrypted inputs and encrypted weights in 0.86 seconds.

  5. Privacy-Preserving Similar Patient Queries for Combined Biomedical Data 2019 PETS Privacy
    Ahmed Salem and Pascal Berrang and Mathias Humbert and Michael Backes

    The decreasing costs of molecular profiling have fueled the biomedical research community with a plethora of new types of biomedical data, enabling a breakthrough towards more precise and personalized medicine. Naturally, the increasing availability of data also enables physicians to compare patients’ data and treatments easily and to find similar patients in order to propose the optimal therapy. Such similar patient queries (SPQs) are of utmost importance to medical practice and will be relied upon in future health information exchange systems. While privacy preserving solutions have been previously studied, those are limited to genomic data, ignoring the different newly available types of biomedical data.
    In this paper, we propose new cryptographic techniques for finding similar patients in a privacy-preserving manner with various types of biomedical data, including genomic, epigenomic and transcriptomic data as well as their combination. We design protocols for two of the most common similarity metrics in biomedicine: the Euclidean distance and Pearson correlation coefficient. Moreover, unlike previous approaches, we account for the fact that certain locations contribute differently to a given disease or phenotype by allowing to limit the query to the relevant locations and to assign them different weights. Our protocols are specifically designed to be highly efficient in terms of communication and bandwidth, requiring only one or two rounds of communication and thus enabling scalable parallel queries. We rigorously prove our protocols to be secure based on cryptographic games and instantiate our technique with three of the most important types of biomedical data – namely DNA, microRNA expression, and DNA methylation. Our experimental results show that our protocols can compute a similarity query over a typical number of positions against a database of 1,000 patients in a few seconds. Finally, we propose and formalize strategies to mitigate the threat of malicious users or hospitals.