International Association for Cryptologic Research

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04:17 [Pub][ePrint] CONIKS: A Privacy-Preserving Consistent Key Service for Secure End-to-End Communication, by Marcela S. Melara and Aaron Blankstein and Joseph Bonneau and Michael J. Freedman and Edward W. Felten

  Recent revelations about government surveillance have significantly

increased the demand for end-to-end secure communications. However, key management remains a major barrier to adoption. Current

systems are often either vulnerable to a malicious or coerced key directory or they make unrealistic assumptions about user behavior,

for example, that users will verify key fingerprints out of band.

We present CONIKS, a system that provides automated key management for end users capable of seamless integration into existing secure messaging applications. In CONIKS, key servers maintain consistent directories of username-to-public key bindings that

allow participants to detect any equivocation or unexpected key

changes by malicious key servers. CONIKS also preserves user\'s

privacy by ensuring that adversaries cannot harvest large numbers

of usernames from the directories. Our prototype chat application

extends the Off-the-Record Messaging plug-in for Pidgin. A single

commodity server can support up to 10 million users and clients

need only download less than 100 kB per day of additional data.

02:07 [PhD][Update] Vijayakrishnan Pasupathinathan: Hardware-based Identification and Authentication Systems

  Name: Vijayakrishnan Pasupathinathan
Topic: Hardware-based Identification and Authentication Systems

Description: The digitisation of the traditional brick-and-mortar applications has increased our dependence on computing systems. It has also led to an increased usage of such systems, to store and transact, sensitive personal and financial information. The failure to secure such information adequately has resulted in identity theft, credit fraud and related crimes. The lack of protection offered by software-only solutions has led to the development of new security mechanisms, designed using an intermediate hardware device. Such hardware-based security solutions are playing a vital role in many applications that aim to provide security and privacy; this makes it important to study, and solve security issues that arise during the design and implementation of such security solutions. This PhD thesis presents the results of our analysis and design of cryptographic protocols used to construct hardware-based secure systems. In this thesis, we first analyse the security of the passive hardware devices. Standard cryptographic primitives though provide strong security; they are demanding with respect to, power consumption, memory size and circuitry design, thus making them unsuitable for the design of security solutions for passive devices. To illustrate, we consider an application of passive devices in the supply chain and product identification, and provide a security analysis of the EPC Gen2 standard. To resolve the weaknesses identified, we propose an EPC Gen2 compliant authentication protocol that provides locational privacy. We then examine the use of hardware devices in identity documents, where the device capabilities are comparable to those of the semi-passive devices. Here, we consider two recent proposals for electronic passports that rely on hardware-based security. We provide a security analysis of the ICAO first-generation ePassport standard and the EU's proposal for a second generation of ePassports. Resolving the weaknesses identified, we outline our proposal for a[...]

02:05 [PhD][Update] Mike Rosulek: The Structure of Secure Multi-Party Computation

  Name: Mike Rosulek
Topic: The Structure of Secure Multi-Party Computation

Description: Secure multi-party computation is a conceptual framework in which distrusting parties engage in a protocol to securely perform a computational task. Depending on the precise model of security, different sets of tasks admit secure protocols. We take a complexity-theoretic approach to studying the inherent difficulty of securely realizing tasks in various standard security models.
  • We give the first alternate characterization of secure realizability in the framework of universally composable (UC) security. This is the first characterization in any model to consider completely arbitrary computational tasks and completely arbitrary communication channels.
  • The most long-standing class of computational tasks studied are those in which two parties evaluate a deterministic function. For these tasks, we give the first complete, combinatorial characterizations of secure realizability in the passive, standalone, and universally composable security models, against computationally unbounded adversaries.
  • Say that a task \G has ``as much cryptographic complexity'' as another task \F if there is a secure protocol for \F that uses access to a secure implementation of \G. We show that there is an infinite hierarchy of tasks with strictly increasing cryptographic complexities, with respect to computationally unbounded security. We also show that there exist tasks whose cryptographic complexities are incomparable.
  • In contrast, we show that under a standard cryptographic assumption, there exist only two distinct levels of cryptographic complexity with respect to polynomial-time security. Every task either has a trivial protocol using plain communication channels, or is complete (i.e., given access to a secure implementation of this task, there are secure protocols for all other tasks). This is the first result to derive [...]

19:53 [Job][New] Assistant Professor in Computer Science with Specialization in Computer Security, KTH Royal Institute of Technology


The Department of Theoretical Computer Science (the TCS group) at the School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC) invites applications for a full-time tenure-track assistant professor in Computer Science with specialization in Computer Security, starting in the second half of 2015.

The TCS group has a strong academic record and good external funding from EU and national sources. There is active research in foundational topics such as complexity theory, logic, and formal methods, as well as more applied ones such as computer security, cryptography, programming languages, databases, natural languages, and computer science education. Within computer security, research topics include software security and secure execution platforms, network security and privacy preserving computation, and cryptography, in particular in the foundations of electronic voting.

For more information about KTH, the CSC school, and the TCS group visit,,

For full information about the position, requirements, and the application procedure visit

19:07 [Job][New] PhD Student, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, United States

  The Vernam Lab at WPI in Worcester, MA has two open PhD positions in applied cryptography and side channel analysis.

Candidates should have a degree in electronics, computer science or applied mathematics, with strong interest in algorithms and signal processing. Prior experience in side channel analysis and embedded software or hardware design is an asset.

We offer a competitive salary and an international cutting-edge research program in an attractive working environment. WPI is one of the highest-ranked technical colleges in the US. Located in the greater Boston area, it maintains close interaction with many of the nearby universities and companies.

17:15 [Job][New] Post-Doc, Université Libre de Bruxelles

  Applications are invited for a three-years Post-Doc position in the Quality and Computer Security research Lab ( of the Université Libre de Bruxelles.

In the framework of a research project in machine learning and computer security and in collaboration with the Machine Learning Group of the Université Libre de Bruxelles and the Machine Learning Group of the Université Catholique de Louvain, the successful applicant will work on the use of machine learning techniques in the design of secure architectures.

06:09 [PhD][New] Sareh Emami: Security Analysis of Cryptographic Algorithms

  Name: Sareh Emami
Topic: Security Analysis of Cryptographic Algorithms
Category: secret-key cryptography

06:07 [PhD][New] Anderson C. A. Nascimento: Bounds and Constructions for Mutually Distrustful Information Theoretically Secure Cryptographic Protocols

  Name: Anderson C. A. Nascimento
Topic: Bounds and Constructions for Mutually Distrustful Information Theoretically Secure Cryptographic Protocols
Category: foundations

06:07 [PhD][New] Hideki Imai

  Name: Hideki Imai

06:04 [PhD][Update] Christophe Tartary: Authentication for Multicast Authentication

  Name: Christophe Tartary
Topic: Authentication for Multicast Authentication
Category:cryptographic protocols


Multicast communication enables the distribution of digital content from a single source to a large audience via a public channel such as the Internet. Broadcasting has applications in sensor networks, pay-TV, software updates and military defense systems to name a few. As these applications will distribute private or sensitive information, multicast protocols must provide data origin authentication as well as data confidentiality. In this thesis, we focus our investigations on ensuring authentication of the data source.

Large-scale broadcasts normally do not repeat lost contents since the loss of any piece of data could generate a prohibitive number of redistribution requests at the sender. In addition, the communication channel can be under the control of adversaries performing malicious actions on the data stream. Thus, the security of authentication protocols relies on two aspects: the opponents' computational powers and the network properties. Cryptographic protocols without a security proof cannot be considered as secure in practice as many constructions originally thought secure were successfully broken. Many unconditionally secure schemes were designed. Unfortunately their optimal security is at the cost of a large storage requirement or a one-time use which makes these constructions unsuitable for practical applications. In this work, we assume that the adversaries have polynomially bounded computational powers.

The purpose of this thesis is to design provable secure protocols providing non-repudiation of the origin of a data stream over an unsecured communication channel. We will emphasize that our constructions provide practical solutions to the stream authentication problem, i.e. the requirements of provable security are compatible with the settings of broadcasting.


17:39 [Job][New] Postdoc, Microsoft Research

  I wanted to bring your attention to the availability of post-doc research positions at MSR Cambridge.

The Constructive Security team within Programming Principles and Tools devises formal techniques and models for understanding cryptographic primitives, protocols and security critical systems, and develops related implementation technology. Our approach is informed by code-based cryptographic reasoning as well as cutting-edge language-based security and program verification. We are looking for exceptional postdoctoral research candidates to join our vibrant research community.

MSR Cambridge:

Programming Principles and Tools:

Constructive Security:

To apply for a post-doc position, use the tool here:

The deadline for completed applications and references is January 5 – do start early so your referees can upload their letters in time.

It’s a good idea to drop me (markulf (at) or Cedric (fournet (at) an email too, to let us know you plan to apply.