Middle East Technical University Institute of Applied Mathematics Seminars

Inference Attacks Against Genomic Data-Sharing Beacons
Ercüment Çiçek
Department of Computer Engineering, Bilkent University, Turkey
Özet : Genomic datasets are often associated with sensitive phenotypes. Therefore, the leak of membership information is a major privacy risk. Genomic beacons aim to provide a secure, and standardized interface for data sharing. Recent studies have demonstrated that it is possible to determine whether the victim is in the dataset, by repeatedly querying the beacon for his/her single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). In this work, we propose a novel re-identification attack and show that the privacy risk is more serious than previously thought. Our method is based on the fact that alleles at different loci are not necessarily independent. We use the linkage disequilibrium and a high-order Markov chain-based algorithm for the inference. We show that in a beacon with 65 individuals from the CEU population, we can infer membership of individuals with 95% confidence with only 5 queries, even when SNPs with minor allele frequencies (MAF) less than 0.05 are hidden as a countermeasure (as proposed in previous work). This means, we need less than 0.5% of the number of queries that existing works require to determine beacon membership under the same conditions. We further show that, countermeasures such as hiding certain parts of the genome or setting a query budget for the user would fail to protect the privacy of the participants under our adversary model.
  Tarih : 06.11.2018
  Saat : 15:40
  Yer : Hayri Körezlioğlu Seminar Room, IAM, METU
  Dil : English
  Web : http://iam.metu.edu.tr/event-calendars#colloquia