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Can 'Encrypted Blobs' Help With Secure Cloud Computing?

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IBM researchers say cloud computing security can be improved by using fully homomorphic encryption to send data as encrypted blobs, which can be understood without actually having to be decrypted.

Breakthrough mathematical work in fully homomorphic encryption done by IBM researcher Craig Gentry is providing a "foundation for the encrypted path" that IBM thinks could radically improve how data can be kept secret and confidential, says IBM's J.R. Rao.

The idea is to create encrypted blobs that do not have to be decrypted and still provide practical applications by being combined with and processed by other encrypted blobs. Such applications include computational arithmetic on encrypted data and privacy enhancements for Web services. Encrypted blobs also would offer a way to store data in the computer cloud so that there could be authorized processing of it without it having to be converted into cleartext and then re-encrypted.

The goal is that "if end users are submitting private and sensitive information in the cloud," they would know that data would be kept confidential as encrypted blobs, Rao says.

From Network World
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