International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Jessica Staddon

Affiliation: Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)


Private Inference Control
David Woodruff Jessica Staddon
Access control can be used to ensure that database queries pertaining to sensitive information are not answered. This is not enough to prevent users from learning sensitive information though, because users can combine non-sensitive information to discover something sensitive. Inference control prevents users from obtaining sensitive information via such ``inference channels'', however, existing inference control techniques are not private - that is, they require the server to learn what queries the user is making in order to deny inference-enabling queries. We propose a new primitive - private inference control (PIC) - which is a means for the server to provide inference control without learning what information is being retrieved. PIC is a generalization of private information retrieval (PIR) and symmetrically-private information retrieval (SPIR). While it is straightforward to implement access control using PIR (simply omit sensitive information from the database), it is nontrivial to implement inference control efficiently. We measure the efficiency of a PIC protocol in terms of its communication complexity, its round complexity, and the work the server performs per query. Under existing cryptographic assumptions, we give a PIC scheme which is simultaneously optimal, up to logarithmic factors, in the work the server performs per query, the total communication complexity, and the number of rounds of interaction. We also present a scheme requiring more communication but sufficient storage of state by the server to facilitate private user revocation. Finally, we present a generic reduction which shows that one can focus on designing PIC schemes for which the inference channels take a particularly simple threshold form.
Efficient Traitor Tracing Algorithms using List Decoding
Alice Silverberg Jessica Staddon Judy Walker
We apply powerful, recently discovered techniques for the list decoding of error-correcting codes to the problem of efficiently tracing traitors. Traitor tracing schemes have been extensively studied for use as a piracy deterrent. In a widely studied model for protecting digital content, each user in the system is associated with a unique set of symbols. For example, the sets may be used to install a software CD or decrypt pay-TV content. The assignment of sets is done in such a way that if a bounded collection of sets is used to form a new set to enable piracy, at least one of the traitor sets can be identified by applying a traitor tracing algorithm to the newly formed set. Much work has focused on methods for constructing such traceability schemes, but the complexity of the traitor tracing algorithms has received little attention. A widely used traitor tracing algorithm, the TA algorithm, has a running time of $O(\n)$ in general, where $\n$ is number of sets in the system (e.g., the number of copies of the CD), and therefore is inefficient for large populations. In this paper we use a coding theoretic approach to produce traceability schemes for which the TA algorithm is very fast. We show that when suitable error-correcting codes are used to construct traceability schemes, and fast list decoding algorithms are used to trace, the run time of the TA algorithm is polynomial in the codeword length. We also use the strength of the error-correcting code approach to construct traceability schemes with more efficient algorithms for finding all possible traitor coalitions. Finally, we provide evidence that amongst traceability schemes in general, TA traceability schemes are the most likely to be amenable to efficient tracing methods.
Combinatorial Properties of Frameproof and Traceability Codes
J.N. Staddon D.R. Stinson R. Wei
In order to protect copyrighted material, codes may be embedded in the content or codes may be associated with the keys used to recover the content. Codes can offer protection by providing some form of traceability for pirated data. Several researchers have studied different notions of traceability and related concepts in recent years. "Strong" versions of traceability allow at least one member of a coalition that constructs a "pirate decoder" to be traced. Weaker versions of this concept ensure that no coalition can "frame" a disjoint user or group of users. All these concepts can be formulated as codes having certain combinatorial properties. In this paper, we study the relationships between the various notions, and we discuss equivalent formulations using structures such as perfect hash families. We use methods from combinatorics and coding theory to provide bounds (necessary conditions) and constructions (sufficient conditions) for the objects of interest.
Graph-Based Authentication of Digital Streams
Sara Miner Jessica Staddon
We consider the authentication of digital streams over a lossy network. The overall approach taken is graph-based, as this yields simple methods for controlling overhead, delay, and the ability to authenticate, while serving to unify many previously known hash- and MAC-based techniques. The loss pattern of the network is defined probabilistically, allowing both bursty and random packet loss to be modeled. Our authentication schemes are customizable by the sender of the stream; that is, within reasonable constraints on the input parameters, we provide schemes that achieve the desired authentication probability while meeting the input upper bound on the overhead per packet. In addition, we demonstrate that some of the shortcomings of previously known schemes correspond to easily identifiable properties of a graph, and hence, may be more easily avoided by taking a graph-based approach to designing authentication schemes.

Program Committees

PKC 2006
Crypto 2003
Asiacrypt 2002
Crypto 2000