A Secure Cloud Data Sharing Protocol for Enterprise Supporting Hierarchical Keyword Search

Publication Name

IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing


Cloud storage becomes the priority for storing and sharing data for enterprise users. Encrypting prior to uploading data to the cloud is the best way to protect business secrets, however, it hinders the convenient operations on plaintexts, such as searching over the cloud data. In addition, employees in an enterprise have multiple layer structures and a higher layer employee should have the privilege to monitor the lower layer employees' data to check if these users violate the regulation without letting the employees be aware of. Public key encryption with keyword search (PEKS) is a well-known cryptographic primitive suitable for secure cloud storage, which supports keyword search without decryption in public key encryption settings. Unfortunately, no existing PEKS scheme supports the monitoring function without authorization from the sender. To address this issue, we propose a variant of PEKS named Hierarchical Public Key Encryption with Keyword Search (HPEKS) and provide a semi-generic construction utilizing a public key tree (PKTree) and a PEKS scheme. To better suit for the enterprise secret data sharing, we build an advanced HPEKS scheme, named designated-tester decryptable hierarchical public key encryption with keyword search (dDHPEKS), which enjoys stronger security and integrates the public key and symmetric key encryptions. We prove our dDHPEKS scheme secure under the security definition in the random oracle model. Particularly, it satisfies the security against outside offline keyword guessing attacks and furthermore, enjoys the transparency property so that the sender does not need to know the internal hierarchy structure of an enterprise in order to share encrypted data to the enterprise. Theoretical evaluation and concrete experiments show that our dDHPEKS scheme has comparable running efficiency with existing PEKS schemes.





First Page


Last Page


Funding Number


Funding Sponsor

National Natural Science Foundation of China



Link to publisher version (DOI)