Detecting Suspicious File Migration or Replication in the Cloud


There has been a prolific rise in the popularity of cloud storage in recent years. While cloud storage offers many advantages such as flexibility and convenience, users are typically unable to tell or control the actual locations of their data. This limitation may affect users' confidence and trust in the storage provider, or even render cloud unsuitable for storing data with strict location requirements. To address this issue, we propose a system called LAST-HDFS which integrates Location-Aware Storage Technique (LAST) into the open source Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS). The LAST-HDFS system enforces location-aware file allocations and continuously monitors file transfers to detect potentially illegal transfers in the cloud. Illegal transfers here refer to attempts to move sensitive data outside the ("legal") boundaries specified by the file owner and its policies. Our underlying algorithms model file transfers among nodes as a weighted graph, and maximize the probability of storing data items of similar privacy preferences in the same region. We equip each cloud node with a socket monitor that is capable of monitoring the real-time communication among cloud nodes. Based on the real-time data transfer information captured by the socket monitors, our system calculates the probability of a given transfer to be illegal. We have implemented our proposed framework and carried out an extensive experimental evaluation in a large-scale real cloud environment to demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of our proposed system.


Computer Science

Second Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering


This work is partially supported by National Science Foundation under the project DGE-1433659.

Keywords and Phrases

Crime; Data transfer; File organization; Location; Open systems; Cloud storages; Effectiveness and efficiencies; Experimental evaluation; File transfers; Hadoop distributed file system (HDFS); Location privacy; Real-time communication; Transfer information; Digital storage

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1545-5971; 1941-0018

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2018 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

Jan-Feb 2021