Symmetrical Disguise: Realizing Homomorphic Encryption Services from Symmetric Primitives

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Homomorphic Encryption (HE) is a modern cryptographic technique that allows direct computations on encrypted data. While relatively new to the mainstream debate, HE has been a solid topic in research for decades. However, and despite the technological advances of the past years, HE’s inefficiencies render it impractical for deployment in realistic scenarios. Hence research in the field is still in its initial phase. To overcome certain challenges and bring HE closer to a realization phase, researchers recently introduced the promising concept of Hybrid Homomorphic Encryption (HHE) – a primitive that combines symmetric cryptography with HE. Using HHE, users perform local data encryptions using a symmetric encryption scheme and then outsource them to the cloud. Upon reception, the cloud can transform the symmetrically encrypted data to homomorphic ciphertexts without decrypting them. Such an approach can be seen as an opportunity to build new, privacy-respecting cloud services, as the most expensive operations of HE can be moved to the cloud. In this work, we undertake the task of designing a secure cryptographic protocol based on HHE. In particular, we show how HHE can be used as the main building block of a protocol that allows an analyst to collect data from multiple sources and compute specific functions over them, in a privacy-preserving way. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work that aims at demonstrating how HHE can be utilized in realistic scenarios, through the design of a secure protocol.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSecurity and Privacy in Communication Networks - 18th EAI International Conference, SecureComm 2022, Proceedings
EditorsFengjun Li, Kaitai Liang, Zhiqiang Lin, Sokratis K. Katsikas
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9783031255373
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
EventSecurity and Privacy in Communication Networks -
Duration: 17 Oct 202219 Oct 2022

Publication series

NameLecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social-Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering
Volume462 LNICST
ISSN (Print)1867-8211
ISSN (Electronic)1867-822X


ConferenceSecurity and Privacy in Communication Networks


  • Homomorphic Encryption
  • Hybrid Homomorphic Encryption
  • Multi-client
  • Storage protection

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications


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