This dissertation is focused on building scalable Attribute Based Security Systems (ABSS), including efficient and privacy-preserving attribute based encryption schemes and applications to group communications and cloud computing. First of all, a Constant Ciphertext Policy Attribute Based Encryption (CCP-ABE) is proposed. Existing Attribute Based Encryption (ABE) schemes usually incur large, linearly increasing ciphertext. The proposed CCP-ABE dramatically reduces the ciphertext to small, constant size. This is the first existing ABE scheme that achieves constant ciphertext size. Also, the proposed CCP-ABE scheme is fully collusion-resistant such that users can not combine their attributes to elevate their decryption capacity. Next step, efficient ABE schemes are applied to construct optimal group communication schemes and broadcast encryption schemes. An attribute based Optimal Group Key (OGK) management scheme that attains communication-storage optimality without collusion vulnerability is presented. Then, a novel broadcast encryption model: Attribute Based Broadcast Encryption (ABBE) is introduced, which exploits the many-to-many nature of attributes to dramatically reduce the storage complexity from linear to logarithm and enable expressive attribute based access policies. The privacy issues are also considered and addressed in ABSS. Firstly, a hidden policy based ABE schemes is proposed to protect receivers' privacy by hiding the access policy. Secondly,a new concept: Gradual Identity Exposure (GIE) is introduced to address the restrictions of hidden policy based ABE schemes. GIE's approach is to reveal the receivers' information gradually by allowing ciphertext recipients to decrypt the message using their possessed attributes one-by-one. If the receiver does not possess one attribute in this procedure, the rest of attributes are still hidden. Compared to hidden-policy based solutions, GIE provides significant performance improvement in terms of reducing both computation and communication overhead. Last but not least, ABSS are incorporated into the mobile cloud computing scenarios. In the proposed secure mobile cloud data management framework, the light weight mobile devices can securely outsource expensive ABE operations and data storage to untrusted cloud service providers. The reported scheme includes two components: (1) a Cloud-Assisted Attribute-Based Encryption/Decryption (CA-ABE) scheme and (2) An Attribute-Based Data Storage (ABDS) scheme that achieves information theoretical optimality.