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Social Networking with Frientegrity: Privacy and Integrity with an Untrusted Provider

Author(s): Feldman, Ariel J; Blankstein, Aaron; Freedman, Michael J; Felten, Edward W

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Abstract: Today’s social networking services require users to trust the service provider with the confidentiality and integrity of their data. But with their history of data leaks and privacy controversies, these services are not always deserving of this trust. Indeed, a malicious provider could not only violate users’ privacy, it could equivocate and show different users divergent views of the system’s state. Such misbehavior can lead to numerous harms including surreptitious censorship. In light of these threats, this paper presents Frientegrity, a framework for social networking applications that can be realized with an untrusted service provider. In Frientegrity, a provider observes only encrypted data and cannot deviate from correct execution without being detected. Prior secure social networking systems have either been decentralized, sacrificing the availability and convenience of a centralized provider, or have focused almost entirely on users’ privacy while ignoring the threat of equivocation. On the other hand, existing systems that are robust to equivocation do not scale to the needs social networking applications in which users may have hundreds of friends, and in which users are mainly interested the latest updates, not in the thousands that may have come before. To address these challenges, we present a novel method for detecting provider equivocation in which clients collaborate to verify correctness. In addition, we introduce an access control mechanism that offers efficient revocation and scales logarithmically with the number of friends. We present a prototype implementation demonstrating that Frientegrity provides latency and throughput that meet the needs of a realistic workload.
Publication Date: 2012
Citation: Feldman, Ariel J., Aaron Blankstein, Michael J. Freedman, and Edward W. Felten. "Social Networking with Frientegrity: Privacy and Integrity with an Untrusted Provider." In 21st USENIX Security Symposium (2012): pp. 647-662.
Pages: 647 - 662
Type of Material: Conference Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: 21st USENIX Security Symposium
Version: Final published version. This is an open access article.

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