An advantage of using a public cloud for storage is that the provider is responsible for building and maintaining the storage infrastructure and its associated costs including power, cooling and server maintenance. We propose a mediated certificateless encryption scheme without pairing operations for securely sharing sensitive information in public clouds. Mediated certificateless public key encryption (mCL-PKE) solves the key escrow problem in identity based encryption and certificate revocation problem in public key cryptography. We apply our mCL-PKE scheme to construct a practical solution to the problem of sharing sensitive information in public clouds. The cloud is employed as a secure storage as well as a key generation center. In our system, the data owner encrypts the sensitive data using the cloud generated users’ public keys based on its access control policies and uploads the encrypted data to the cloud. Upon successful authorization, the cloud partially decrypts the encrypted data for the users. The users subsequently fully decrypt the partially decrypted data using their private keys. The confidentiality of the content and the keys is preserved with respect to the cloud, because the cloud cannot fully decrypt the information. We also propose an extension to the above approach to improve the efficiency of encryption at the data owner. We implement our mCL-PKE scheme and the overall cloud based system, and evaluate its security and performance. Our results show that our schemes are efficient and practical.
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