Additive and multiplicative notions of leakage, and their capacities

Mário S. Alvim, Konstantinos Chatzikokolakis, Annabelle McIver, Carroll Morgan, Catuscia Palamidessi, Geoffrey Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Protecting sensitive information from improper disclosure is a fundamental security goal. It is complicated, and difficult to achieve, often because of unavoidable or even unpredictable operating conditions that can lead to breaches in planned security defences. An attractive approach is to frame the goal as a quantitative problem, and then to design methods that measure system vulnerabilities in terms of the amount of information they leak. A consequence is that the precise operating conditions, and assumptions about prior knowledge, can play a crucial role in assessing the severity of any measured vunerability. We develop this theme by concentrating on vulnerability measures that are robust in the sense of allowing general leakage bounds to be placed on a program, bounds that apply whatever its operating conditions and whatever the prior knowledge might be. In particular we propose a theory of channel capacity, generalising the Shannon capacity of information theory, that can apply both to additive- and to multiplicative forms of a recently-proposed measure known as g-leakage. Further, we explore the computational aspects of calculating these (new) capacities: one of these scenarios can be solved efficiently by expressing it as a Kantorovich distance, but another turns out to be NP-complete. We also find capacity bounds for arbitrary correlations with data not directly accessed by the channel, as in the scenario of Dalenius's Desideratum.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2014 IEEE 27th Computer Security Foundations Symposium, CSF 2014
Place of PublicationLos Alamitos, CA
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781479942909
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2014
Event27th IEEE Computer Security Foundations Symposium, CSF 2014 - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 19 Jul 201422 Jul 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings-Computer Security Foundations Workshop
ISSN (Print)1063-6900


Other27th IEEE Computer Security Foundations Symposium, CSF 2014

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