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Do You Know Where Your Data's Been? Tamper-Evident Database Provenance

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[Technical Report, Research Paper]

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Database provenance chronicles the history of updates and modifications to data, and has received much attention due to its central role in scientific data management. However, the use of provenance information still requires a leap of faith. Without additional protections, provenance records are vulnerable to accidental corruption, and even malicious forgery, a problem that is most pronounced in the loosely-coupled multi-user environments often found in scientific research. This paper investigates the problem of providing integrity and tamper-detection for database provenance. We propose a checksum-based approach, which is well-suited to the unique characteristics of database provenance, including non-linear provenance objects and provenance associated with multiple fine granularities of data. We demonstrate that the proposed solution satisfies a set of desirable security properties, and that the additional time and space overhead incurred by the checksum approach is manageable, making the solution feasible in practice.

Subject Categories:

  • Cybernetics
  • Computer Systems

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[A, Approved For Public Release]