Preface to IACR ASIACRYPT: Advances in Cryptology (ASIACRYPT) 2013

It is our great pleasure to present the proceedings of Asiacrypt 2013 in two volumes of Lecture Notes in Computer Science published by Springer. This was the 19th edition of the International Conference on Theory and Application of Cryptology and Information Security held annually in Asia by the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR). The conference was organized by IACR in cooperation with the Cryptology Research Society of India and was held in the city of Bengaluru in India from first to fifth December, 2013.

About one year prior to the conference, an international program committee (PC) of 46 scientists assumed the responsibility for determining the scientific content of the conference. The conference evoked an enthusiastic response from researchers and scientists. A total of 269 papers were submitted for possible presentations approximately six months prior to the conference. Authors of the submitted papers are spread all over the world. PC members were allowed to submit papers, but, each PC member could submit at most two co-authored papers or at most one single-authored paper. The PC co-chairs did not submit any paper. All the submissions were screened by the PC and 54 papers were finally selected for presentations at the conference. These proceedings contain the revised versions of the papers that were selected. The revisions were not checked and the responsibility of the papers rest with the authors and not the PC members.

Selection of papers for presentations was made through a double blind review process. Each paper was assigned three reviewers and submissions by PC members were assigned six reviewers. Apart from the PC members, a total of 291 external reviewers were involved. The total number of reviews for all the papers was more than 900. In addition to the reviews, the selection process involved an extensive discussion phase. This phase allowed PC members to express opinion on all the submissions. The final selection of 54 papers was the result of this extensive and rigorous selection procedure. One of the final papers resulted from the merge of two submissions.

The best paper award was conferred upon the paper "Shorter Quasi-Adaptive NIZK Proofs for Linear Subspaces" authored by Charanjit Jutla and Arnab Roy. The decision was based on a vote among the PC members. In addition to the best paper, two other papers, namely, "Families of fast elliptic curves from Q-curves" authored by Benjamin Smith and "Key Recovery Attacks on 3-round Even-Mansour, 8-step LED-128, and Full AES2" authored by Itai Dinur, Orr Dunkelman, Nathan Keller and Adi Shamir, were recommended for solicitations by the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Cryptology to submit expanded versions to the journal.

A highlight of the conference were two invited talks. An extensive multi-round discussion was carried out by the PC to decide on the invited speakers. This resulted in very interesting talks on two different aspects of the subject. Lars Ramkilde Knudsen spoke on "Block ciphers - past and present" a topic of classical and continuing importance while George Danezis spoke on "Engineering Privacy-Friendly Computations" which is an important and a more modern theme.

Apart from the regular presentations and the invited talks, a rump session was organized on one of the evenings. This consisted of very short presentations on upcoming research results, announcements of future events and other topics of interest to the audience.

We would like to thank the authors of all papers for submitting their research works to the conference. Such interest over the years has ensured that the Asiacrypt conference series remains a cherished venue of publication by scientists. Thanks are due to the PC members for their enthusiastic and continued participation for over a year in different aspects of selecting the technical program. External reviewers have contributed by providing timely reviews and thanks are due to them. A list of external reviewers is provided in these proceedings. We have tried to ensure that the list is complete. Any omission is inadvertent and if there is an omission, we apologize to the concerned person.

Special thanks are due to Satyanarayana V. Lokam, the General Chair for the conference. His message to the PC was to select the best possible scientific program without any other considerations. Further, he ensured that the PC Co-Chairs were insulated from the organizational work. This work was done by the Organizing Committee and they deserve thanks from all the participants for the wonderful experience. We thank Daniel J. Bernstein and Tanja Lange for expertly organizing and conducting the rump session.

The reviews and discussions were entirely carried out online using a software developed by Shai Halevi. At several times, we had to request Shai for his help with some feature or the other of the software. Every time, we received immediate and helpful responses. We thank him for such support and also for developing the software. We also thank Josh Benaloh, who was our IACR liaison, for guidance on several issues. Springer published the volumes and made these available before the conference. We thank Alfred Hofmann and Anna Kramer and their team for their professional and efficient handling of the production process.

Last, but, not the least, we thank Microsoft Research; Google; Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata; and National Mathematics Initiative, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru; for being generous sponsors of the conference.

December 2013                             Kazue Sako and Palash Sarkar
                                          Program Committee Co-Chairs
                                          Asiacrypt 2013