Dynamic and efficient private keyword search over inverted index-based encrypted data

Rui Zhang, Rui Xue, Ting Yu, Ling Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


Querying over encrypted data is gaining increasing popularity in cloud-based data hosting services. Security and efficiency are recognized as two important and yet conflicting requirements for querying over encrypted data. In this article, we propose an efficient private keyword search (EPKS) scheme that supports binary search and extend it to dynamic settings (called DEPKS) for inverted index-based encrypted data. First, we describe our approaches of constructing a searchable symmetric encryption (SSE) scheme that supports binary search. Second, we present a novel framework for EPKS and provide its formal security definitions in terms of plaintext privacy and predicate privacy by modifying Shen et al.'s security notions [Shen et al. 2009]. Third, built on the proposed framework, we design an EPKS scheme whose complexity is logarithmic in the number of keywords. The scheme is based on the groups of prime order and enjoys strong notions of security, namely statistical plaintext privacy and statistical predicate privacy. Fourth, we extend the EPKS scheme to support dynamic keyword and document updates. The extended scheme not only maintains the properties of logarithmic-time search efficiency and plaintext privacy and predicate privacy but also has fewer rounds of communications for updates compared to existing dynamic search encryption schemes. We experimentally evaluate the proposed EPKS and DEPKS schemes and show that they are significantly more efficient in terms of both keyword search complexity and communication complexity than existing randomized SSE schemes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21
JournalACM Transactions on Internet Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016



  • Binary search
  • Dynamic updates
  • Plaintext privacy
  • Predicate privacy
  • Searchable symmetric encryption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications

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