Practical Attacks on Relational Databases Protected via Searchable Encryption

Mohamed Ahmed Abdelraheem, Tobias Andersson, Christian Gehrmann, Cornelius Glackin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceedingpeer-review


Searchable symmetric encryption (SSE) schemes are commonly proposed to enable search in a protected unstructured documents such as email archives or any set of sensitive text files. However, some SSE schemes have been recently proposed in order to protect relational databases. Most of the previous attacks on SSE schemes have only targeted its common use case, protecting unstructured data. In this work, we propose a new inference attack on relational databases protected via SSE schemes. Our inference attack enables a passive adversary with only basic knowledge about the meta-data information of the target relational database to recover the attribute names of some observed queries. This violates query privacy since the attribute name of a query is secret.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInformation Security - 21st International Conference, ISC 2018, Proceedings
EditorsLiqun Chen, Mark Manulis, Steve Schneider
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9783319991351
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event21st Information Security Conference, ISC 2018 - Guildford, United Kingdom
Duration: 2018 Sept 92018 Sept 12

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume11060 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference21st Information Security Conference, ISC 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Information Systems


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