Thursday, 24 July 2014

Paper summary : Authorization-Transparent Access Control for XML under the Non-Truman Model by Kanza et. Al., EDBT '06


  • Truman model - invalid queries are modified. 
  • Non-truman model - invalid queries rejected.
  • Security policies specified using XPath. e.g., for /Dept[Name=CS]/Course exclude //Grade
  • Not only XML elements but edges and paths can also be concealed.
  • Query is locally valid for dataset $D$ and set of rules $R$ if it conceals all relationships of $R$. Query is globally valid for any $D$ which conforms to some schema $S$ if $R$ is concealed for all $D$.
  • Document model $D = (X, E_{D}, root_{D}, labelOf_{D}, valueOf_{D})$.$X$ refers to nodes (nodes contain metadata like ids), $E_{D}$ refers to elements of the XML (i.e., attribute values, this is, in reality, a metadata of a node). $root_{D}$ is the root node, $labelOf_{D}$ is a function $f: X \to E_{D}$ and $valueOf_{D}$ is a function $f: X \to A$ where $A$ is a set of element values of atomic nodes (nodes with no outgoing edges).
  • k-concealment of relationship $(A,B)$ for some elements $A, B$ in $D$: given $b \in B$, we want a subset $A_{k} \subset A$ st (i) no element in $A_{k}$ is ancestor of another (ii) user cannot infer which among $k$ is an ancestor of $B$.
  • Expansion of $D$ is $D''$, created by replacing $E_{D}$ with $E'$ (children) and $E''_{D}$ (descendents).
  • A transitive closure $\bar{D}$ is an expansion of $D$ st there is an edge bet. every 2 nodes connected by direct path in $D$ and an edge from every node to itself.
  • An XPath query is equivalent to evaluating the query over the transitive closure of the document.
  • To prune a document expansion is to remove from $D''$ all edges that connect restricted nodes.
  • Universe of expansions of $D$ is the set of all $D''$ st $prune(\bar{D}$) = prune($D'')$. Denote this by $U_{R}(D)$.
  • (Local validity) Query $Q$ is locally valid if $Q(D) = Q(D''), \forall D'' \in U_{R}(D)$.
  • (Pseudo validity) Query $Q$ is pseudo valid if $Q(D) = Q(prune(\bar{D}))$. You can leak relationships here e.g., singleton source disclosure (example 11).
  • (Global validity) $Q$ is globally valid for $R$ give schema $S$ if $Q$ is locally valid $\forall D$ that conform to $S$. This is more restrictive than local validity but offers benefits (no need to check $Q$ over all $D$ if $Q$ is globally valid, saving computation).
  • $R$ is coherent if it is impossible to infer any hidden relationships from the relationships not pruned by the rules.
  • $R$ has incomplete concealment in $D$ if either (i) $D$ has 3 elements $e1,e2,e3$ st $prune(\bar{D})$ has an edge from $e1$ to $e2$ and $e2$ to $e3$ but none from $e1$ to $e3$ or (ii) $D$ has 3 elements $e1,e2,e3$ st $prune(\bar{D})$ has an edge from $e1$ to $e3$ and $e2$ to $e3$ but none from $e1$ to $e2$.
  • (Coherent) R is coherent if incomplete concealment does not occur in $D$.
  • Encapsulating edge in $\bar{D}$: $(e1, e2)$ encapsulates $(e1' e2')$ if there is a path running through all of these edges and $e1$ appears before (or at the same spot) as $e1'$ or if $e2$ appears after (or at the same spot) as $e2'$.
  • If $R$ is coherent, $\forall (e1,e2)$ in $\bar{D}$ which are removed by pruning, if there is an edge $(e1',e2')$ which is encapsulated by $(e1,e2)$, then $(e1',e2')$ should be removed too.
  • Weakness of approach so far is singleton source disclosure i.e., $\exists \rho=(x1,x2) \in R$ st $(x1(D), x1x2(D))$ is not 2-concealed ($x1(D)$ means that $x1$ was the query whose answer exsits in $D$). Solution : algorithm $computeK$ is provided.
  • (Theorem 1) Algo $computeK$ returns $k$ st (i) all the relationships in $R$ are k-concealed (ii) $\exists r \in R$ which is not $k+1$ concealed.

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