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Researchers at IIT-Kharagpur develop Technology to unlock Encrypted data on cloud server with Keywords

Representational Image, VOA

Kolkata, April 12, 2017: Researchers at IIT-Kharagpur have developed a solution to access encrypted data on cloud server with keywords, without the need for decryption nor compromising the security of the system, a statement said on Wednesday.

The solution by the Secured Embedded Architecture Lab (SEAL) at IIT Kharagpur is pragmatic in the sense that it allows analytics on the encrypted data itself, it said, adding that this eliminates the need to decrypt the data or compromise system security.

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“We need cryptosystems that allow searchable encryption, or more simply, keyword search over encrypted document collections and databases” said researcher Sikhar Patranabis at SEAL.

The research has led to Controlled Access Searchable Encryption (CASE), a new public-key searchable encryption, or the process of encoding a message or information in such a way that only authorised parties can access it.

“We are expecting to have a full-fledged prototype implementation of our controlled-access searchable encryption set-up by the end of 2017,” Patranabis said.

CASE allows a data owner to generate a controlled-search access that can restrict the search capabilities of a data user to a specific subset of documents in the collection.

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“This prevents the vulnerability of the full data set. CASE also preserves the privacy of the underlying plain-text data under well-known cryptographic assumptions,” said Debdeep Mukhopadhyay, lead researcher of the project and Director of incubation at Embedded Security and Privacy Pvt Ltd. (ESP), STEP-IIT Kharagpur.

Data encryption which is used as solution to data security often makes data searching and data mining operations difficult.

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The solution involving sending data back to the owner for decryption and returning to the same client, is time-consuming with high costs as it requires heavy bandwidth and storage capabilities.

It also under-utilises the computational ability of the cloud, which is usually much greater than that of individual devices.

CASE addresses the gap, say the researchers. (IANS)


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Intel Becomes Savior Of Exploited Workers

In recent years modern slavery has increasingly come under the global spotlight

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich delivers a keynote speech at CES International, Jan. 8, 2018, in Las Vegas.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich delivers a keynote speech at CES International, Jan. 8, 2018, in Las Vegas. VOA

Intel topped a list issued on Monday ranking how well technology companies combat the risk of forced labor in their supply chains, overtaking HP and Apple.

Most of the top 40 global technology companies assessed in the study by KnowTheChain, an online resource for business, had made progress since the last report was published in 2016. But the study found there was still room for improvement.

“The sector needs to advance their efforts further down the supply chain in order to truly protect vulnerable workers,” said Kilian Moote, project director of KnowTheChain, in a statement.

Intel, HP and Apple scored the highest on the list, which looked at factors including purchasing practices, monitoring and auditing processes. China-based BOE Technology Group and Taiwan’s Largan Precision came bottom.

Workers who make the components used by technology companies are often migrants vulnerable to exploitative working conditions, the report said.

About 25 million people globally were estimated to be trapped in forced labor in 2016, according to the International Labor Organization and rights group Walk Free Foundation.

Laborers in technology companies’ supply chains are sometimes charged high recruitment fees to get jobs, trapped in debt servitude, or deprived of their passports or other documents, the report said.

It highlighted a failure to give workers a voice through grievance mechanisms and tackle exploitative recruiting practices as the main areas of concern across the sector.

In recent years modern slavery has increasingly come under the global spotlight, putting ever greater regulatory and consumer pressure on firms to ensure their supply chains are free of forced labor, child labor and other forms of slavery.

From cosmetics and clothes to shrimp and smartphones, supply chains are often complex with multiple layers across various countries — whether in sourcing the raw materials or creating the final product — making it hard to identify exploitation.

Overall, large technology companies fared better than smaller ones, suggesting a strong link between size and capacity to take action, the report said. Amazon, which ranked 20th, was a notable exception, it said.

“Top-ranking brands … are listening to workers in their supply chains and weeding out unscrupulous recruitment processes,” Phil Bloomer, head of the Business & Human Rights Resource Center, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

intel technology
intel technology, pixabay

A spokesman for Amazon said the report drew from old and incomplete information and failed to take into account recently launched anti-slavery commitments and initiatives.

HP said it regularly assessed its supply chain to identify and address any concerns and risks of exploitation.

“We strive to ensure that workers in our supply chain have fair treatment, safe working conditions, and freely chosen employment,” said Annukka Dickens, HP’s director for human rights and supply chain responsibility.

Also read: Another Security flaw is Revealed By Intel in its Chips

Intel, Apple, BOE Technology and Largan Precision did not immediately respond to requests for comment. (VOA)