International Association for Cryptologic Research

Ph.D. Database

The aim of the IACR Ph.D. database is twofold. On the first hand, we want to offer an overview of Ph.D. already completed in the domain of cryptology. Where possible, this should also include a subject classification, an abstract, and access to the full text. On the second hand, it deals with Ph.D. subjects currently under investigation. This way, we provide a timely map of contemporary research in cryptology. All entries or changes need to be approved by an editor. You can contact them via phds (at)


Scott Russell (#655)
Name Scott Russell
Institution Boston University
Topic of his/her doctorate. Communication and Query Privacy: Intrusion-Resilient Secure Channels and Private Database Queries
Category cryptographic protocols
Keywords applications, information hiding, oblivious transfer
Ph.D. Supervisor(s) Leonid Reyzin
Year of completion 2008

One part of this dissertation describes a new two-party communication primitive we call an Intrusion-Resilient Secure Channel (IRC) that offers improved confidentiality over traditional secure channels against passive but mobile, highly adaptive adversaries. IRCs limit the loss of confidentiality resulting from the exposure of parties’ secret keys by utilizing key-evolution and proactive security techniques similar to those employed in intrusion-resilient signature schemes. We show how to construct an IRC using existing chosen-ciphertext-secure public-key cryptosystems in a black-box manner. We also discuss how to use IRCs to improve two-party protocol security; as a concrete example, we prove an IRC-augmented version of the Itkis-Reyzin intrusion-resilient signature scheme secure against highly adaptive adversaries capable of exposing even expired secrets.

The second part describes an interactive binary search protocol with user and server privacy provided that improves upon an existing user-private only protocol. We utilize our search protocol to construct user- and server-private protocols for predecessor, successor, and simple range queries on one-dimensional data. We also describe a protocol with the same privacy for multi-way search, a generalization of binary search. All of these protocols are secure in the standard model without setup assumptions against semi-honest parties who correctly follow the protocol but attempt to break its privacy. To facilitate the efficient retrieval of range query results, we also provide a communication-optimized user- and server-private protocol for retrieving a contiguous range of elements of known size by position. This contiguous range retrieval protocol generalizes existing notions of block oblivious transfer and is secure against semi-honest servers and malicious users who deviate arbitrarily from the protocol.

E-Mail Address russell (at)
Last Change 2011-08-16 11:26:19
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