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Andrew Brockmann

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A Plausibly Deniable Encryption Scheme for Personal Data Storage

Talithia Williams
Second Reader(s)
Arthur T. Benjamin


Even if an encryption algorithm is mathematically strong, humans inevitably make for a weak link in most security protocols. A sufficiently threatening adversary will typically be able to force people to reveal their encrypted data.

Methods of deniable encryption seek to mend this vulnerability by allowing for decryption to alternate data which is plausible but not sensitive. Existing schemes which allow for deniable encryption are best suited for use by parties who wish to communicate with one another. They are not, however, ideal for personal data storage.

This paper develops a plausibly-deniable encryption system for use with personal data storage, such as hard drive encryption. This is accomplished by narrowing the encryption algorithm's message space, allowing different plausible plaintexts to correspond to one another under different encryption keys.

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