Bo Chen, CS, Is PI of $598.4K NSF Grant to Develop Hardware-Assisted Self-Repairing Decentralized Cloud Storage

Bo Chen, associate professor of, Computer Science, is the principal investigator of a new National Science Foundation (NSF) grant award of $598,416, The three-year grant is titled, “SaTC: CORE: Small: Hardware-assisted Self-repairing in Decentralized Cloud Storage against Malicious Attacks.” Zhenlin Wang, professor of Computer Science, is co-PI.

The project aims to develop the first hardware-assisted self-repairing decentralized cloud storage system to defend against malicious attacks.

Chen is a member of the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems’s (ICC) Centers for Biocomputing and Digital Health (BDH), Computing Education (CompEd), and Cybersecurity (CyberS).

Project Abstract: A decentralized cloud storage system eliminates the need of dedicated computing infrastructures by allowing peers which have spare storage space to join the network and to provide storage services. Compared to a conventional centralized cloud storage system, it can bring significant benefits including cheaper storage cost, better fault tolerance, greater scalability, as well as more efficient data storing and retrieval. While bringing immense benefits, the decentralized cloud storage system also raises significant security concerns, as storage peers are more likely to misbehave since they are hosted by individual users who are less reputable and less skillful. This project thus takes an essential step towards protecting the long-term integrity of the critical data outsourced to the emerging decentralized cloud. The project’s novelties are enabling a new self-repair concept in the decentralized cloud and developing a hardware-assisted secure decentralized cloud storage system supporting self-repair. The project’s broader significance and importance are protecting critical digital assets outsourced to the untrusted cloud, training graduate students, and reaching out to underrepresented minority students.

The project aims to develop the first hardware-assisted self-repairing decentralized cloud storage system against malicious attacks. It resolves a fundamental conflict between the requirement of long-term integrity guarantee and the lack of trustiness in a decentralized setting, by leveraging the trusted execution environment (TEE) and the flash translation layer (FTL). Especially, the following research tasks are conducted: 1) enabling secure self-repair in each storage peer by collaborating the TEE and the FTL; and 2) enabling secure self-repair across multiple untrusted storage peers by leveraging the TEE; and 3) building a fully functioning secure decentralized cloud storage system with self-repair support.