Preface to IACR CRYPTO: Advances in Cryptology (CRYPTO) 2014

CRYPTO 2014, the 34rd Annual International Cryptology Conference, was held August 17-21 2014 on the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara. The event was sponsored by the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR) in cooperation with the UCSB Computer Science Department.

The program represents the recent significant advances and trends in all areas of cryptology. Out of 227 submissions, sixty were included in the program; these two-volume proceedings contain the revised versions of all those papers. Two of the papers shared a single presentation slot in the program. The program also included two invited talks. On Monday, Mihir Bellare from UCSD delivered the IACR Distinguished Lecture, entitled ``Caught in Between Theory and Practice.'' On Wednesday, Yael Tauman Kalai from Microsoft Research New England spoke about ``How to Delegate Computations: The Power of No-Signalling Proofs.'' As usual, the rump session took place on Tuesday evening, and was chaired by Dan Bernstein and Tanja Lange.

This year's program continues the trend started last year of trying to accommodate as many high-quality submissions as possible, yielding a high number of accepted papers. As a result, sessions were also held on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, and presentations were kept short (20 minutes per paper, including questions and answers). The option of having parallel sessions, which would allow for longer presentations and an early adjournment on Thursday, was also discussed and decided against, since we assessed that our research field is still sufficiently homogeneous and the community would benefit from the option of attending all the talks. However, we believe that future Program Committees should continue to explore possible options to implement some form of parallel sessions.

The submissions were reviewed by a Program Committee (PC) consisting of 38 leading researchers in the field, in addition to the two co-chairs. Each PC member was allowed to submit one paper, plus an additional one if co-authored with a junior researcher (a student or a postdoc). PC-authored submissions were held to higher standards during the review process. Papers were reviewed in a double-blind fashion. Initially, each paper was assigned to three reviewers (four for PC-authored papers); during the discussion phase, when necessary, extra reviews were solicited. The process also included a rebuttal phase after preliminary reviews were finalized, where authors received them and were given the option to comment on the reviews within a window of several days. The authors' comments were then taken into account in the discussions within the PC and the final reviews. Despite being labor-intensive, we feel the rebuttal phase was a worthwhile process as it resulted in the significantly better understanding of many submissions. As part of the discussion phase, the PC held a 1.5-day in-person meeting on May 15 and 16 in Copenhagen, Denmark, right after Eurocrypt.

We would like to sincerely thank the authors of all submissions---those whose papers made it into the program and those whose papers did not. Our deep appreciation also goes out to the PC members, who invested an extraordinaty amount of time in reviewing papers, interacting with the authors via the rebuttal mechanism, and participating in so many discussions on papers, their contribution, and the state of the art in their areas of expertise. We also sympathize with the occasional frustration from seeing decisions go against personal recommendations and preferences, in spite of all the hard work.

We are also indebted to the many external reviewers who significantly contributed to the comprehensive evaluation of the submissions. A list of PC members and external reviewers appears after this note. Despite all our efforts, the list of external reviewers may contain errors or omissions; we apologize for that in advance.

We would like to thank Sasha Boldyreva, the General Chair, for working closely with us throughout the whole process and providing the much needed support at every step, including artfully creating and maintaining the website and taking care of all aspects of the conference's logistics---specially the in-person PC meeting arrangements.

As always, special thanks are due to Shai Halevi for his tireless support regarding the \textsl{websubrev} software, which we used for the whole conference planning and operation, including paper submission and evaluation and interaction among PC members and with the authors. Alfred Hofmann and his colleagues at Springer provided a meticulous service for the timely production of these proceedings.

Finally, we would like to thank Google, Microsoft Research, the National Science Foundation and for their generous support.

August 2014                                     Juan A. Garay and Rosario Gennaro
Program Co-Chairs, CRYPTO 2014