Secure Data Preservers for Web Services

FREE-DOWNLOAD J Kannan, P Maniatis… – 2nd USENIX Conference on Web …, 2011

We examine a novel proposal wherein a user who hands off her data to a web service has complete choice over the code and policies that constrain access to her data. Such an approach is possible if the web service does not require raw access to the user’s data to implement its functionality; access to a carefully chosen interface to the data suffices. Our data preserver framework rearchitects such web services around the notion of a preserver, an object that encapsulates the user’s data with code and policies chosen by the user. Our framework relies on a variety of deployment mechanisms, such as administrative isolation, software-based isolation (e.g., virtual machines), and hardware-based isolation (e.g., trusted platform modules) to enforce that the service interacts with the preserver only via the chosen interface. Our prototype implementation illustrates three such web services, and we evaluate the cost of privacy in our framework by characterizing the performance overhead compared to the status quo.