Accelerating forward and backward private searchable encryption using trusted execution

Viet Vo, Shangqi Lai, Xingliang Yuan, Shi-Feng Sun, Surya Nepal, Joseph K. Liu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Searchable encryption (SE) is one of the key enablers for building encrypted databases. It allows a cloud server to search over encrypted data without decryption. Dynamic SE additionally includes data addition and deletion operations to enrich the functions of encrypted databases. Recent attacks exploiting the leakage in dynamic operations drive the rapid development of SE schemes revealing less information while performing updates; they are also known as forward and backward private SE. Newly added data is no longer linkable to queries issued before, and deleted data is no longer searchable in queries issued later. However, those advanced SE schemes reduce the efficiency of SE, especially in the communication cost between the client and server. In this paper, we resort to the hardware-assisted solution, aka Intel SGX, to ease the above bottleneck. Our key idea is to leverage SGX to take over most tasks of the client, i.e., tracking keyword states along with data addition and caching deleted data. However, handling large datasets is non-trivial due to the I/O and memory constraints of SGX. We further develop batch data processing and state compression techniques to reduce the communication overhead between the SGX and untrusted server and minimise the memory footprint within the enclave. We conduct a comprehensive set of evaluations on both synthetic and real-world datasets, which confirm that our designs outperform the prior art.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationApplied Cryptography and Network Security
Subtitle of host publication18th International Conference, ACNS 2020 Rome, Italy, October 19–22, 2020 Proceedings, Part II
EditorsMauro Conti, Jianying Zhou, Emiliano Casalicchio, Angelo Spognardi
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9783030578787
ISBN (Print)9783030578770
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventInternational Conference on Applied Cryptography and Network Security 2020 - Rome, Italy
Duration: 19 Oct 202022 Oct 2020
Conference number: 18th (Proceedings) (Website)

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


ConferenceInternational Conference on Applied Cryptography and Network Security 2020
Abbreviated titleACNS 2020
Internet address

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