Adversarial Correctness and Privacy for Probabilistic Data Structures

Mia Filić, Kenneth G. Paterson, Anupama Unnikrishnan, Fernando Virdia

We study the security of Probabilistic Data Structures (PDS) for handling Approximate Membership Queries (AMQ); prominent examples of AMQ-PDS are Bloom and Cuckoo filters. AMQ-PDS are increasingly being deployed in environments where adversaries can gain benefit from carefully selecting inputs, for example to increase the false positive rate of an AMQ-PDS. They are also being used in settings where the inputs are sensitive and should remain private in the face of adversaries who can access an AMQ-PDS through an API or who can learn its internal state by compromising the system running the AMQ-PDS. We develop simulation-based security definitions that speak to correctness and privacy of AMQ-PDS. Our definitions are general and apply to a broad range of adversarial settings. We use our definitions to analyse the behaviour of both Bloom filters and insertion-only Cuckoo filters. We show that these AMQ-PDS can be provably protected through replacement or composition of hash functions with keyed pseudorandom functions in their construction. We also examine the practical impact on storage size and computation of providing secure instances of Bloom and insertion-only Cuckoo filters.

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