Generic multi-keyword ranked search on encrypted cloud data

Shabnam Kasra Kermanshahi, Joseph K. Liu, Ron Steinfeld, Surya Nepal

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Although searchable encryption schemes allow secure search over the encrypted data, they mostly support conventional Boolean keyword search, without capturing any relevance of the search results. This leads to a large amount of post-processing overhead to find the most matching documents and causes an unnecessary communication cost between the servers and end-users. Such problems can be addressed efficiently using a ranked search system that retrieves the most relevant documents. However, existing state-of-the-art solutions in the context of Searchable Symmetric Encryption (SSE) suffer from either (a) security and privacy breaches due to the use of Order Preserving Encryption (OPE) or (b) non-practical solutions like using the two non-colluding servers. In this paper, we present a generic solution for multi-keyword ranked search over the encrypted cloud data. The proposed solution can be applied over different symmetric searchable encryption schemes. To demonstrate the practicality of our technique, in this paper we leverage the Oblivious Cross Tags (OXT) protocol of Cash et al. (2013) due to its scalability and remarkable flexibility to support different settings. Our proposed scheme supports the multi-keyword search on Boolean, ranked and limited range queries while keeping all of the OXT’s properties intact. The key contribution of this paper is that our scheme is resilience against all common attacks that take advantage of OPE leakage while only a single cloud server is used. Moreover, the results indicate that using the proposed solution the communication overhead decreases drastically when the number of matching results is large.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputer Security - ESORICS 2019
Subtitle of host publication24th European Symposium on Research in Computer Security Luxembourg, September 23–27, 2019 Proceedings, Part I
EditorsKazue Sako, Steve Schneider, Peter Y. A. Ryan
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9783030299590
ISBN (Print)9783030299583
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventEuropean Symposium On Research In Computer Security 2019 - Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Duration: 23 Sept 201927 Sept 2019
Conference number: 24th (Proceedings)

Publication series

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


ConferenceEuropean Symposium On Research In Computer Security 2019
Abbreviated titleESORICS 2019
Internet address


  • SSE
  • Multi keywords
  • Ranked search

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