Towards an Information Theoretic Analysis of Searchable Encryption

S. Sedghi, J.M. Doumen, Pieter H. Hartel, Willem Jonker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
115 Downloads (Pure)


Searchable encryption is a technique that allows a client to store data in encrypted form on a curious server, such that data can be retrieved while leaking a minimal amount of information to the server. Many searchable encryption schemes have been proposed and proved secure in their own computational model. In this paper we propose a generic model for the analysis of searchable encryptions. We then identify the security parameters of searchable encryption schemes and prove information theoretical bounds on the security of the parameters. We argue that perfectly secure searchable encryption schemes cannot be efficient. We classify the seminal schemes in two categories: the schemes that leak information upfront during the storage phase, and schemes that leak some information at every search. This helps designers to choose the right scheme for an application.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication10th international conference on information and communication security
Place of PublicationBerlin
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)978-3-540-88624-2
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2008
Event10th International Conference on Information and Communications Security, ICICS 2008 - Hyatt Regency, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 20 Oct 200822 Oct 2008
Conference number: 10

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference10th International Conference on Information and Communications Security, ICICS 2008
Abbreviated titleICICS
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • EWI-13866
  • IR-62495
  • METIS-252082
  • SCS-Cybersecurity


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