Section: New Software and Platforms


Functional Description

PlugDB is a complete platform dedicated to a secure and ubiquitous management of personal data. It aims at providing an alternative to a systematic centralization of personal data. The PlugDB engine is a personal database server capable of storing data (tuples and documents) in tables and BLOBs, indexing them, querying them in SQL, sharing them through assertional access control policies and enforcing transactional properties (atomicity, integrity, durability). The PlugDB engine is embedded in a tamper-resistant hardware device combining the security of smartcard with the storage capacity of NAND Flash. The personal database is hosted encrypted in NAND Flash and the PlugDB engine code runs in the microcontroller. Complementary modules allow to pre-compile SQL queries for the applications, communicate with the DBMS from a remote Java program, synchronize local data with remote servers (typically used for recovering the database in the case of a broken or lost devices) and participate in distributed computation (e.g., global queries). PlugDB runs both on secure devices provided by Gemalto and on specific secure devices designed by SMIS and assembled by electronic SMEs. Mastering the hardware platform opens up new research and experiment opportunities (e.g., we have recently integrated a Bluetooth module to communicate wirelessly with PlugDB and a fingerprint module to strongly authenticate users) and allows us to engage ourselves in an open-source/open hardware initiative. Open-SW/open-HW contributes to the trust the community of users can put in any privacy preserving solution and is key to enable a diversity of solutions, hence decreasing the risk of class attacks. PlugDB engine has been registered first at APP (Agence de Protection des Programmes) in 2009 - a new version being registered every two years and the hardware datasheets in 2015. PlugDB has been experimented in the field - notably in the healthcare domain - and we recently set up an educational platform to raise students awareness of privacy protection problems and embedded programming. As a conclusion, PlugDB combines several research contributions from the team, at the crossroads of flash data management, embedded data processing and secure distributed computations. It then strongly federates all members of our team (permanent members, PhD students and engineers). It is also a vector of visibility, technological transfer and dissemination and gives us the opportunity to collaborate with researchers from other disciplines around a concrete privacy enhancing platform.

  • Participants: Nicolas Anciaux, Luc Bouganim, Philippe Pucheral, Shaoyi Yin, Yanli Guo, Kevin Jacquemin, Aydogan Ersoz and Quentin Lefebvre

  • Contact: Nicolas Anciaux

  • URL: https://project.inria.fr/plugdb/