Title: Gradual identity exposure using attribute-based encryption

Authors: Zhibin Zhou; Dijiang Huang

Addresses: Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, 85281, USA. ' Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, 85281, USA

Abstract: Many ciphertext policy attribute-based encryption (CP-ABE) schemes do not protect receivers' privacy, since all the attributes to describe the eligible receivers are transmitted in plain texts. Hidden policy-based ABE schemes have been proposed to protect receivers' privacy. However, hidden policy-based constructions require every user to 'try' decrypting all received cipher messages, which incurs great computation and communication overhead. To address this issue, in this paper, we propose a new concept – gradual identity exposure (GIE) – to protect data receivers' identity. Our main idea is to reveal the receivers' identities (i.e., the access policy) gradually in the process of decryption, where the required attributes are exposed one-by-one. If the receiver does not possess one attribute in the decryption procedure, the rest of attributes remain hidden. Compared to hidden-policy-based solutions, GIE supports more flexible access policy and, more importantly, provides significant performance improvement in terms of both computation and communication performances. We also present a theoretical framework to model the GIE with several new proposed concepts.

Keywords: identity protection; attributes; attribute-based encryption; privacy protection; cryptography; security; access policy; decryption.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIPSI.2012.046136

International Journal of Information Privacy, Security and Integrity, 2012 Vol.1 No.2/3, pp.278 - 297

Published online: 21 Mar 2012 *

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