Section: Research Program
Tamper-resistant Data Management
Tamper-resistance refers to the capacity of a system to defeat confidentiality and integrity attacks. This problem is complementary to access control management while being (mostly) orthogonal to the way access control policies are defined. Security surveys regularly point out the vulnerability of database servers against external (i.e., by intruders) and internal (i.e., by employees) attacks. Several attempts have been made in commercial DBMSs to strengthen server-based security, e.g., by separating the duty between DBA and DSA (Data Security Administrator), by encrypting the database footprint and by securing the cryptographic material using Hardware Security Modules (HSM)  . To face internal attacks, client-based security approaches have been investigated where the data is stored encrypted on the server and is decrypted only on the client side. Several contributions have been made in this direction, notably by U. of California Irvine (S. Mehrotra, Database Service Provider model), IBM Almaden (R. Agrawal, computation on encrypted data), U. of Milano (E. Damiani, encryption schemes), Purdue U. (E. Bertino, XML secure publication), U. of Washington (D. Suciu, provisional access) to cite a few seminal works. An alternative, recently promoted by Stony Brook Univ. (R. Sion), is to augment the security of the server by associating it with a tamper-resistant hardware module in charge of the security aspects. Contrary to traditional HSM, this module takes part in the query computation and performs all data decryption operations. SMIS investigates another direction based on the use of a tamper-resistant hardware module on the client side. Most of our contributions in this area are based on exploiting the tamper-resistance of secure tokens to build new data protection schemes.
While our work on Privacy-Preserving data Publishing (PPDP) is still related to tamper-resistance, a complementary positioning is required for this specific topic. The primary goal of PPDP is to anonymize/sanitize microdata sets before publishing them to serve statistical analysis purposes. PPDP (and privacy in databases in general) is a hot topic since 2000, when it was introduced by IBM Research (IBM Almaden: R. Agrawal, IBM Watson: C.C. Aggarwal), and many teams, mostly north American universities or research centres, study this topic (e.g., PORTIA DB-Privacy project regrouping universities such as Stanford with H. Garcia-Molina). Much effort has been devoted by the scientific community to the definition of privacy models exhibiting better privacy guarantees or better utility or a balance of both (such as differential privacy studied by C. Dwork: Microsoft Research or D. Kifer: Penn-State Univ and J. Gehrke: Cornell Univ) and thorough surveys exist that provide a large overview of existing PPDP models and mechanisms  . These works are however orthogonal to our approach in that they make the hypothesis of a trustworthy central server that can execute the anonymization process. In our work, this is not the case. We consider an architecture composed of a large population of tamper-resistant devices weakly connected to an untrusted infrastructure and study how to compute PPDP problems in this context. Hence, our work has some connections with the works done on Privacy Preserving Data Collection (Stevens Institute of Tech. / Rutgers Univ,NJ: R.N.Wright, Univ Austin Texas: V. Shmatikov), on Secure Multi-party Computing for Privacy Preserving Data Mining (Rutgers Univ: J. Vaidya, Purdue Univ: C. Clifton) and on distributed PPDP algorithms (Univ Wisconsin: D. DeWitt, Univ Michigan: K. Lefevre, Rutgers Univ: J. Vaidya, Purdue Univ: C. Clifton) while none of them share the same architectural hypothesis as us.