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[liberationtech] Stanford Security Seminar Tomorrow: Jay Lorch -- Ensuring Private Access to Large-Scale Data in the Data Center

Yosem Companys companys at
Mon Feb 11 15:26:22 PST 2013

From: Joe Zimmerman <jzim at>

*Jay Lorch*  --  *Ensuring Private Access to Large-Scale Data in the Data

Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Talk at 4:30pm in Gates 463A


Recent events have shown online service providers the perils of possessing
private information about users. Encrypting data mitigates but does not
eliminate this threat: the pattern of data accesses still reveals
information. Thus, this talk will present Shroud, a general storage system
that hides data access patterns from the servers running it, protecting
user privacy. Shroud functions as a virtual disk with a new privacy
guarantee: the user can look up a block without revealing the block's
address. Such a virtual disk can be used for many purposes, including map
lookup, microblog search, and social networking. Shroud aggressively
targets hiding accesses among hundreds of terabytes of data. We achieve our
goals by adapting oblivious RAM algorithms to enable large-scale
parallelization. Specifically, we show, via new techniques such as
oblivious aggregation, how to securely use many inexpensive secure
coprocessors acting in parallel to improve request latency. Our evaluation
combines large-scale emulation with an implementation on secure
coprocessors and suggests that these adaptations bring private data access
closer to practicality.


Jacob R. Lorch has been a Researcher at Microsoft Research in Redmond, WA
for the last eleven years. Before that, he received his Ph.D. in Computer
Science from UC Berkeley in 2001 under the supervision of Alan Jay Smith.
Jacob's research focuses broadly on computer systems, with particular
emphasis on distributed systems, web security, cloud computing, and energy
management. In recent work, he has developed TrInc (NSDI 2009), a simple
piece of trusted hardware useful in securing a variety of distributed
systems; Memoir (IEEE S&P 2011), a framework for building stateful,
crash-resilient trusted modules; and GreenUp (NSDI 2012), a decentralized
system for maintaining the availability of machines while letting them save
energy by sleeping. His current work includes protecting user privacy when
using online services and simplifying the construction and deployment of
fault-tolerant systems.
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