VAL: Volume and Access Pattern Leakage-Abuse Attack with Leaked Documents

Steven Lambregts, Huanhuan Chen, Jianting Ning*, Kaitai Liang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Searchable Encryption schemes provide secure search over encrypted databases while allowing admitted information leakages. Generally, the leakages can be categorized into access and volume pattern. In most existing SE schemes, these leakages are caused by practical designs but are considered an acceptable price to achieve high search efficiency. Recent attacks have shown that such leakages could be easily exploited to retrieve the underlying keywords for search queries. Under the umbrella of attacking SE, we design a new Volume and Access Pattern Leakage-Abuse Attack (VAL-Attack) that improves the matching technique of LEAP (CCS ’21) and exploits both the access and volume patterns. Our proposed attack only leverages leaked documents and the keywords present in those documents as auxiliary knowledge and can effectively retrieve document and keyword matches from leaked data. Furthermore, the recovery performs without false positives. We further compare VAL-Attack with two recent well-defined attacks on several real-world datasets to highlight the effectiveness of our attack and present the performance under popular countermeasures.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputer Security – ESORICS 2022 - 27th European Symposium on Research in Computer Security, Proceedings
EditorsVijayalakshmi Atluri, Roberto Di Pietro, Christian D. Jensen, Weizhi Meng
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-17140-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-17139-0
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event27th European Symposium on Research in Computer Security, ESORICS 2022 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 26 Sept 202230 Sept 2022

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference27th European Symposium on Research in Computer Security, ESORICS 2022
CityVirtual, Online

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Access pattern
  • Attack
  • Leakage
  • Searchable encryption
  • Volume pattern


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