SGX-IR: Secure Information Retrieval with Trusted Processors

Fahad Shaon, Murat Kantarcioglu

A secure text and image based search engine using trusted processors. All the data indexing algorithms are data oblivious to reduce information leakage.


To preserve the security and the privacy of the data need for cloud applications, encrypting the data before outsourcing has emerged as an important tool. Furthermore, to enable efficient processing over the encrypted data stored in the cloud, utilizing efficient searchable symmetric encryption (SSE) schemes became popular. Usually, SSE schemes require an encrypted index to be built for efficient query processing. If the data owner has limited power, building this encrypted index before data is outsourced to the cloud could become a computational bottleneck. At the same time, secure outsourcing of encrypted index building using techniques such as homomorphic encryption is too costly for large data. Instead, in this work, we use a trusted processor, e.g, Intel Software Guard eXtension (SGX), to build a secure information retrieval system that provides better security guarantee and performance improvements. Unlike other related works, we focus on securely building the encrypted index in the cloud computing environment using the SGX, and show that the encrypted index could be used for executing keyword queries over text documents and face recognition detection in image documents. Finally, we show the effectiveness of our system via extensive empirical evaluation.


  title={{SGX-IR}: Secure Information Retrieval with Trusted Processors},
  author={Shaon, Fahad and Kantarcioglu, Murat},
  booktitle={IFIP Annual Conference on Data and Applications Security and Privacy},
  organization={Springer, Cham}


Information Retrieval, Encrypted Index, Trusted Processor, SGX