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Improving Security in the Cloud

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Weizmann Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers are moving closer to developing a method for working with data while it is still encrypted, providing an encrypted result that can later be securely deciphered.

"Until a few years ago, no one knew if the encryption needed for this sort of online security was even possible," says Weizmann's Zvika Brakerski.

In 2009, Stanford University's Craig Gentry provided the first demonstration of so-called fully homomorphic encryption (FHE). However, Gentry's method was very time consuming, making it impractical.

In two recent papers, the Weizmann and MIT researchers have described several new ways of making FHE more efficient. They were able to make FHE with much simpler arithmetic, which speeds up processing time. They also showed that FHE does not require an ideal lattice, which simplifies the construction.

"The fact that it worked was something like magic, and it has challenged our assumptions about the function of the ideal lattices in homomorphic encryption," Brakerski says. He says the new FHE technique could be applied to new fields, such as securing medical information for research.

From Weizmann Institute of Science
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