[Resource Topic] 2024/556: Menhir: An Oblivious Database with Protection against Access and Volume Pattern Leakage

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Menhir: An Oblivious Database with Protection against Access and Volume Pattern Leakage

Authors: Leonie Reichert, Gowri R Chandran, Phillipp Schoppmann, Thomas Schneider, Björn Scheuermann


Analyzing user data while protecting the privacy of individuals remains a big challenge. Trusted execution environments (TEEs) are a possible solution as they protect processes and Virtual Machines (VMs) against malicious hosts. However, TEEs can leak access patterns to code and to the data being processed. Furthermore, when data is stored in a TEE database, the data volume required to answer a query is another unwanted side channel that contains sensitive information. Both types of information leaks, access patterns and volume patterns, allow for database reconstruction attacks.

In this paper, we present Menhir, an oblivious TEE database that hides access patterns with ORAM guarantees and volume patterns through differential privacy. The database allows range and point queries with SQL-like WHERE-clauses. It builds on the state-of-the-art oblivious AVL tree construction Oblix (S&P’18), which by itself does not protect against volume leakage. We show how volume leakage can be exploited in range queries and improve the construction to mitigate this type of attack. We prove the correctness and obliviousness of Menhir. Our evaluation shows that our approach is feasible and scales well with the number of rows and columns in the database.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2024/556

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