Saturday, July 30, 2016


From 17th to 22nd of July the northernmost crypto workshop ever organized took place in Longyearbyen, Svalbard at latitude 78.13N. There are only about 1300 kilometers missing until the north pole.

Nordenskiöld glacier
Three ECRYPT-NET fellows (Marie-Sarah, Matthias and Ralph) had the opportunity to join the fascinating event.

The talks had a good mixture between talks from invited speakers as well as talks from researchers that submitted a paper. The topics reached from symmetric cryptography to fully homomorphic encryption as well as digital signatures and side channel attacks. The full program can be found here:

One of the most interesting talks on Monday, was given by Eik List: POEx: A Beyond-Birthday-Bound-Secure On-Line Cipher. In his talk he presented POEx that reached beyond-birthday-bound security with one call to a tweakable blockcipher and a call to a 2n-bit universal hash function per message block.  He then showed a security proof and gave possible instantiations.

In the evening from Monday/Tuesday at midnight there were two fascinating talks during midnight sun. The first one was given by Ron Rivest on: Symmetric Encryption based on Keyrings and Error correction. The second talk was from Adi Shamir: How Can Drunk Cryptographers Locate Polar Bears.

Adi Shamir explaining how drunk cryptographers can locate polar bears.

On Tuesday, Joan Daemen gave his invited talk on: Generic security of full-state keyed duplex. In his talk he briefly explained sponge constructions and how they can be used for authenticated encryption. Afterwards, he explained how to achieve beyond-birthday-bound security using sponges. In the end, he showed a new core of sponges, the (full state) keyed duplex construction.

On Wednesday, there was a full day of sightseeing planned, where we went on a boat trip to the "ghost town" Pyramiden. We started our boat trip in Longyearbyen, where we saw some minke whale. The captain of the ship told us that he saw also a blue whale a few days earlier. After a while we approached the bird cliffs where many seagulls and puffins were nesting. Birds are very important for the eco system of svalbard, as they exchange life from the water to the main lands. From there we continued our journey to the nordenskiöld glacier, a huge glacier with blueish shining ice. After a whiskey with glacier ice, we continued to our final destination. The "ghost town" pyramiden was a russian settlement and coal-mining community was closed in 1998 and is since 2007 a tourist attraction.
Polar bear
Polar bear warning sign
On Thursday, Marie-Sarah presented her paper: Security of BLS and BGLS signatures in a multi-user setting that was related to her master's thesis at the University of Waterloo. Marie-Sarah was inspired to re-visit it after reading about how the tightness of security reductions for the Schnorr signature scheme played a role in the CFRG's selection of an elliptic-curve based signature scheme for standardization. The standard notion of existential unforgeability under chosen-message attacks is in the single-user setting, since the adversary is given one public key to target.
In the more realistic multi-user setting, the attacker gets all users' public keys and can choose which one to attack. In her paper, she first analysed the BLS (Boneh-Lynn-Shacham) signature scheme's security in a manner similar to what was done for Schnorr - is key-prefixing necessary to maintain unforgeability of signatures in a multi-user setting? Next, she analysed the multi-user security of the aggregate signature scheme BGLS (Boneh-Gentry-Lynn-Shacham). She proposed a security notion in a multi-user setting analogous to the multi-user setting for normal (non-aggregate) signatures, then analysed BGLS's security in this model.

On Friday, Gregor Leander was presenting Structural Attacks on Block Ciphers where he presented invariant subspace attacks. Furthermore, he introduced an improved technique called non-linear invariant attacks.

Matthias, Marie-Sarah and Ralph
The artist of this sign never saw a polar
bear before in his life. Therfore, they told
him to paint a big white dog. 
Santa Clause mailbox

No comments:

Post a Comment