International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Paper: Searchable Symmetric Encryption: Improved Definitions and Efficient Constructions

Reza Curtmola
Juan Garay
Seny Kamara
Rafail Ostrovsky
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Abstract: Searchable symmetric encryption (SSE) allows a party to outsource the storage of his data to another party in a private manner, while maintaining the ability to selectively search over it. This problem has been the focus of active research and several security definitions and constructions have been proposed. In this paper we review existing security definitions, pointing out their shortcomings, and propose two new stronger definitions which we prove equivalent. We then present two constructions that we show secure under our new definitions. Interestingly, in addition to satisfying stronger security guarantees, our constructions are more efficient than all previous constructions. Further, prior work on SSE only considered the setting where only the owner of the data is capable of submitting search queries. We consider the natural extension where an arbitrary group of parties other than the owner can submit search queries. We formally define SSE in this multi-user setting, and present an efficient construction.
  title={Searchable Symmetric Encryption: Improved Definitions and Efficient Constructions},
  booktitle={IACR Eprint archive},
  keywords={secret-key cryptography / searchable encryption},
  note={ 13325 received 22 Jun 2006, last revised 26 Jun 2006},
  author={Reza Curtmola and Juan Garay and Seny Kamara and Rafail Ostrovsky},