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IBM Claims Cryptographic Cloud Security Challenge Solved

Stanford Ph.D. student and IBM researcher Craig Gentry may have taken a big step forward in the solving the problem of data security in cloud computing. In his recently released paper, "Fully homomorphic encryption using ideal lattices", Gentry describes a method which allows processing of encrypted data without knowing its content.

This method would allow for the storage of encrypted data on an untrusted server, allow users to query the data, and receive useful responses from the server without the server sending all of the data. Data could also be queried privately by sending an encrypted query and the server could provide a useful response.

Since the invention of public-key encryption decades ago, the problem encrypted information analysis has proved a very difficult one for researchers to solve. With Gentry's method, full analysis of encrypted without sacrificing confidentiality can be accomplished. Data storage vendors will now be able to provide information analysis access to clients, without being able to see the content of the data.

The security of this method has not been proven, as wide-scale tests are forthcoming.

Craig Gentry (Stanford University)

Research support provided by:
Stanford University, IBM

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