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SoK: Plausibly Deniable Storage

SoK: Plausibly Deniable Storage AbstractData privacy is critical in instilling trust and empowering the societal pacts of modern technology-driven democracies. Unfortunately it is under continuous attack by overreaching or outright oppressive governments, including some of the world’s oldest democracies. Increasingly-intrusive anti-encryption laws severely limit the ability of standard encryption to protect privacy. New defense mechanisms are needed.Plausible deniability (PD) is a powerful property, enabling users to hide the existence of sensitive information in a system under direct inspection by adversaries. Popular encrypted storage systems such as TrueCrypt and other research efforts have attempted to also provide plausible deniability. Unfortunately, these efforts have often operated under less well-defined assumptions and adversarial models. Careful analyses often uncover not only high overheads but also outright security compromise. Further, our understanding of adversaries, the underlying storage technologies, as well as the available plausible deniable solutions have evolved dramatically in the past two decades. The main goal of this work is to systematize this knowledge. It aims to: (1) identify key PD properties, requirements and approaches; (2) present a direly-needed unified framework for evaluating security and performance; (3) explore the challenges arising from the critical interplay between PD and modern system layered stacks; (4) propose a new “trace-oriented” PD paradigm, able to decouple security guarantees from the underlying systems and thus ensure a higher level of flexibility and security independent of the technology stack.This work is meant also as a trusted guide for system and security practitioners around the major challenges in understanding, designing and implementing plausible deniability into new or existing systems. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Proceedings on Privacy Enhancing Technologies de Gruyter

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
© 2022 Chen Chen et al., published by Sciendo
ISSN
2299-0984
eISSN
2299-0984
DOI
10.2478/popets-2022-0039
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractData privacy is critical in instilling trust and empowering the societal pacts of modern technology-driven democracies. Unfortunately it is under continuous attack by overreaching or outright oppressive governments, including some of the world’s oldest democracies. Increasingly-intrusive anti-encryption laws severely limit the ability of standard encryption to protect privacy. New defense mechanisms are needed.Plausible deniability (PD) is a powerful property, enabling users to hide the existence of sensitive information in a system under direct inspection by adversaries. Popular encrypted storage systems such as TrueCrypt and other research efforts have attempted to also provide plausible deniability. Unfortunately, these efforts have often operated under less well-defined assumptions and adversarial models. Careful analyses often uncover not only high overheads but also outright security compromise. Further, our understanding of adversaries, the underlying storage technologies, as well as the available plausible deniable solutions have evolved dramatically in the past two decades. The main goal of this work is to systematize this knowledge. It aims to: (1) identify key PD properties, requirements and approaches; (2) present a direly-needed unified framework for evaluating security and performance; (3) explore the challenges arising from the critical interplay between PD and modern system layered stacks; (4) propose a new “trace-oriented” PD paradigm, able to decouple security guarantees from the underlying systems and thus ensure a higher level of flexibility and security independent of the technology stack.This work is meant also as a trusted guide for system and security practitioners around the major challenges in understanding, designing and implementing plausible deniability into new or existing systems.

Journal

Proceedings on Privacy Enhancing Technologiesde Gruyter

Published: Apr 1, 2022

Keywords: Plausible Deniability; Encryption Backdoor; Censorship; Censorship Resilience; ORAM

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