Towards Designing A Secure Plausibly Deniable System for Mobile Devices against Multi-snapshot Adversaries – A Preliminary Design

by   Bo Chen, et al.

Mobile computing devices have been used broadly to store, manage and process sensitive or even mission critical data. To protect confidentiality of data stored in mobile devices, major mobile operating systems use full disk encryption, which relies on traditional encryption mechanisms and requires that decryption keys will not be disclosed. This however, is not necessarily true, since an active attacker may coerce victims for decryption keys. Plausibly deniable encryption (PDE) can defend against such a coercive attacker by disguising the true secret key with a decoy key. Leveraging concept of PDE, various deniable storage systems have been built for both PC and mobile platforms. However, a secure PDE system for mobile devices is still missing which can be compatible with mainstream mobile devices and, meanwhile, remains secure when facing a strong multi-snapshot adversary. In this work, we propose a preliminary PDE system design for mobile computing devices using flash memory as underlying storage medium. Ours is the first secure PDE system for mobile devices which has the following new design features: 1) it is compatible with mainstream mobile devices due to its integration of PDE into flash translation layer (FTL), the most popular form of flash memory being used by modern mobile devices; and 2) it can defend against the multi-snapshot adversary by denying hidden writes (over the flash memory) caused by hidden sensitive data using random dummy writes.


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