Security and Privacy Applied Research Lab

Deterministic Symmetric Encryption and its Applications

Alexandra Boldyreva
Georgia Institute of Technology, Computer Science


Outsourcing data to a remote, untrusted database server is an application of emerging importance. Deterministic symmetric-key encryption allows the server to answer users' queries efficiently. At first we focus on basic, exact-match query functionality, and then extend our treatment to prefix-matching and then to range queries as well. We propose several searchable encryption schemes that are practical and provably-secure. The schemes are easy to implement and are based on standard cryptographic primitives such as block ciphers, symmetric encryption schemes, and message authentication codes. Our solution to supporting range queries introduces a new cryptographic primitive, a deterministic order-preserving encryption scheme, which is of independent interest.


Alexandra Boldyreva is an Assistant Professor in the School of Computer Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California at San Diego in 2004. She is a recipient of the NSF CAREER award. Her research interests are in cryptography and information security.