Encrypted Databases: New Volume Attacks against Range Queries

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We present a range of novel attacks which exploit information about the volume of answers to range queries in encrypted database. Our attacks rely on a strategy which is simple yet robust and effective. We illustrate the robustness of our strategy in a number of ways. We show how i) to adapt the attack for several variations of a basic usage scenario ii) to defeat countermeasures intended to thwart the premise of our basic attack and iii) to perform partial reconstruction of secret data when unique reconstruction is information theoretically impossible. Furthermore, over the state of the art, our attacks require one order of magnitude fewer queries. We show how to improve the attacks even further, under the assumption that some partial information is known to the adversary. We validate experimentally all of our attacks through extensive experiments on real-world medical data and justify theoretically the effectiveness of our strategy for the basic attack scenario. Our new attacks further underscore the difficulty of striking an appropriate functionality-security trade-off for encrypted databases.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCCS'19
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2019 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages47
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-6747-9
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2019
EventACM CCS 2019: 26th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Nov 201915 Nov 2019
Conference number: 26


ConferenceACM CCS 2019
Abbreviated titleACM CCS 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Encrypted databases
  • Volume leakage attacks


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