Brown CS News

Kamara And Moataz Work With MongoDB To Analyze Its End-To-End Encryption


    Click the links that follow for more news about Seny Kamara, Tarik MoatazPixek, and other recent accomplishments by Brown CS faculty.

    "In today's security environment," says Professor Seny Kamara of Brown University's Department of Computer Science (Brown CS), "we believe it's necessary to have systems that fully encrypt the user's data at every point in its life cycle." He's talking about end-to-end encryption, the focus of his Encrypted Systems Lab and new startup Aroki Systems. Last year, the Encrypted Systems Lab's research saw fruit in the release of an app, Pixek, which uses structured encryption (a kind of encryption Seny co-invented in 2010 with Brown PhD Melissa Chase) to provide a simple solution for keeping photos private while in the cloud. More recently, Seny and Aroki co-founder Tarik Moataz have been putting their expertise to good use at an entirely different scale.

    Due to Seny and Tarik's expertise in designing and cryptanalyzing encrypted search algorithms, MongoDB asked for an analysis of a new product feature called Field Level Encryption. MongoDB, co-founded by Brown CS alum Eliot Horowitz, is a general-purpose, document-based, distributed database built for modern applications in the cloud era. It's used by millions of developers worldwide and some of the largest organizations in the world including Adobe, Facebook, Google, and Verizon. Field Level Encryption uses local keys on a client to ensure that data will be inaccessible even to servers run by cloud providers and database managers. It's an increase in security for database users who previously had been vulnerable to hackers and rogue agents abusing access.

    "It’s exciting to see industry involving the research community and leveraging our expertise," Tarik says. "MongoDB are great to work with and are very receptive to our findings."

    For more information, click the link that follows to contact Brown CS Communication Outreach Specialist Jesse C. Polhemus.