PBES: A Policy Based Encryption System with Application to Data Sharing in the Power Grid

Published in International Symposium on Information, Computer, and Communications Security, ACM, pp 262-275, 2009

Rakesh Bobba, Himanshu Khurana, Musab A. Alturki and Farhana Ashraf

In distributed systems users need the ability to share sensitive content with multiple other recipients based on their ability to satisfy arbitrary policies. One such system is electricity grids where finegrained sensor data sharing holds the potential for increased reliability and efficiency. However, effective data sharing requires technical solutions that support flexible access policies, for example, sharing more data when the grid is unstable. In such systems, both the messages and policies are sensitive and, therefore, they need to kept be secret. Furthermore, to allow for such a system to be secure and usable in the presence of untrusted object stores and relays it must be resilient in the presence of active adversaries and provide efficient key management. While several of these properties have been studied in the past we address a new problem in the area of policy based encryption in that we develop a solution with all of these capabilities. We develop a Policy and Key Encapsulation Mechanism – Data Encapsulation Mechanism (PKEM-DEM) encryption scheme that is a generic construction secure against adaptive chosen ciphertext attacks and develop a Policy Based Encryption System (PBES) using this scheme that provides these capabilities. We provide an implementation of PBES and measure its performance.