An Enhanced Method for Web Ontologies Encryption


  •   Redouane Nejjahi

  •   Abderrahim Marzouk

  •   Noreddine Gherabi


Ontologies are used in almost any domain; they have been used both in the public and private domains. In the latter case, we will face security problems, where encryption may be a solution. In this case, one can encrypt their ontology file with any encryption standard, delete the original file and store the encrypted one. When exploiting the ontology, the user should decrypt the encrypted file on the fly and make the needed reasoning. In this paper, we introduce an enhanced method for encrypting web ontologies. This method consists of maintaining the ontology structure (schema) while encrypting only the ontology data. We found that the enhanced method is at least ten times faster than the basic method. With such results, we believe that existing tools for querying or making reasoning on ontologies can be rewritten to take advantage of this method in the case of ontology security.

Keywords: Ontology; Cryptography; OWL; AES; Semantic Web; Security


S. Aghaei, M. A. Nematbakhsh, and H. K. Farsani, “Evolution of the World Wide Web: from Web 1.0 to Web 4.0.”, International Journal of Web & Semantic Technology (IJWesT) Vol.3, No.1, January 2012.

T. Berners-Lee, J. Hendler, and O. Lassila, “The semantic Web”, Scientific American, vol. 284, no. 5, pp. 34-43, May 2001.

A. J. Menezes, P. C. van Oorschot, S. A. Vanstone, Handbook of Applied Cryptography, 1st edition, CRC Press, 1997.

S. Bechhofer. “OWL: Web Ontology Language,” in Encyclopedia of Database Systems, ed. Springer, 2009.

B. Smith, J. Williams, and S-K. Steffen, “The ontology of the Gene Ontology”, AMIA Annual Symposium proceedings, pp. 609–613, 2003.

R. Nejjahi, N. Gherabi, and A. Marzouk, “Towards classification of Web ontologies using the horizontal and vertical segmentation”, Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol. 640, pp. 70–81, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-64719-7, Springer International Publishing 2017.

J. Daemen and V Rijmen. “The design of Rijndael: AES - The Advanced Encryption Standard (Information Security and Cryptography)”, Springer, 1st ed. 2002.

D. S. Abd Elminaam, H. M. Abdual Kader, and M. M. Hadhoud, “Evaluating the performance of symmetric encryption algorithms”, International Journal of Network Security, Vol.10, No.3, pp. 213-219, May 2010.


Download data is not yet available.


How to Cite
Nejjahi, R., Marzouk, A. and Gherabi, N. 2019. An Enhanced Method for Web Ontologies Encryption. European Journal of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. 3, 4 (Jul. 2019). DOI: