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ScientificWorldJournal. 2013 Sep 2;2013:860621. doi: 10.1155/2013/860621. eCollection 2013.

Query-biased preview over outsourced and encrypted data.

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  • 1School of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, Sichuan 611731, China.


For both convenience and security, more and more users encrypt their sensitive data before outsourcing it to a third party such as cloud storage service. However, searching for the desired documents becomes problematic since it is costly to download and decrypt each possibly needed document to check if it contains the desired content. An informative query-biased preview feature, as applied in modern search engine, could help the users to learn about the content without downloading the entire document. However, when the data are encrypted, securely extracting a keyword-in-context snippet from the data as a preview becomes a challenge. Based on private information retrieval protocol and the core concept of searchable encryption, we propose a single-server and two-round solution to securely obtain a query-biased snippet over the encrypted data from the server. We achieve this novel result by making a document (plaintext) previewable under any cryptosystem and constructing a secure index to support dynamic computation for a best matched snippet when queried by some keywords. For each document, the scheme has O(d) storage complexity and O(log(d/s) + s + d/s) communication complexity, where d is the document size and s is the snippet length.

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