Curry On
July 18-19th, 2016

Sieve: Cryptographically Enforced Access Control for User Data in Untrusted Clouds
Frank Wang



Modern web services rob users of low-level control over cloud storage—a user’s single logical data set is scattered across multiple storage silos whose access controls are set by web services, not users. The consequence is that users lack the ultimate authority to determine how their data is shared with other web services. In this talk, we introduce Sieve, a new platform which selectively (and securely) exposes user data to web services. Sieve has a user-centric storage model: each user uploads encrypted data to a single cloud store, and by default, only the user knows the decryption keys. Given this storage model, Sieve defines an infrastructure to support rich, legacy web applications. Using attribute-based encryption, Sieve allows users to define intuitively understandable access policies that are cryptographically enforceable. Using key homomorphism, Sieve can re-encrypt user data on storage providers in situ, revoking decryption keys from web services without revealing new keys to the storage provider. Using secret sharing and two-factor authentication, Sieve protects cryptographic secrets against the loss of user devices like smartphones and laptops. The result is that users can enjoy rich, legacy web applications, while benefiting from cryptographically strong controls over which data a web service can access.


Frank Wang is a 4th year PhD student at MIT focusing on building secure systems. He is advised by Nickolai Zeldovich and James Mickens. He did his undergraduate at Stanford, focusing on cryptography. He runs the MIT security seminar and is a member of the student team at Roughdraft Ventures, which provides small capital to early stage student startups. He has interned at the security teams at Google and Facebook as well as consulted for various security companies, such as Qualys.