Privacy preserving confidential forensic investigation for shared or remote servers

  • Hou S
  • Uehara T
  • Yiu S
 et al. 
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Abstract

It is getting popular that customers make use of third party data service providers to store their data and emails. It is common to have a large server shared by many different users. This creates a big problem for forensic investigation. It may not be easy to clone a copy of data from the storage device(s) due to the huge volume of data. Even if it is possible to make a clone, there are many irrelevant information/data stored in the same device for which the investigators have no right to access. The other alternative is to let the service provider search the relevant information and retrieve the data for the investigator provided a warrant can be provided. However, sometimes, due to the confidentiality of the crime, the investigator may not want the service provider to know what information they are looking for or the service provider herself may be one of the suspects. The problem becomes even more obvious in terms of cloud computing technology. In this paper, we address this problem and using homomorphic encryption and commutative encryption, we provide two forensically sound schemes to solve the problem so that the investigators can obtain the necessary evidence while the privacy of other users can be protected and at the same time, the service provider cannot know what information the investigators are interested in.

Author-supplied keywords

  • commutative encryption
  • homomorphic encryption
  • privacy preserving forensics
  • search on encrypted data

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