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ITI Distinguished Lecture: Moti Yung: "Kleptography: On the Difficulty of Institutionalizing Trust"

Event Type
Information Trust Institute; lecture series sponsored by Rockwell Collins
NCSA auditorium
Nov 5, 2009   4:00 pm  
Moti Yung, Google Inc. and Columbia University
Originating Calendar
Information Trust Institute (ITI) archival calendar



Traditionally, in the practice of cryptography, employing tamper-proof hardware has been believed to serve as perhaps the best guarantor of "trust" (and security) in cryptosystems implementations. The reason is that it seems to be the best way to protect the system's most important secrets (i.e., the keys). We will review our works on kleptography, an area that contradicts this common belief and deals with attacks on "black box" cryptographic implementations (i.e., tamper-proof hardware implementations). Kleptographic attacks enable a designer of an algorithm to cause leakage of secrets, employing alternative algorithms in a way that is (1) un-noticeable and (2) exclusive. That is, no one else can tell whether the implementation contains the kleptographic attack or not, and only the attacker gets the advantage of the leakage (even if another party reverse-engineers the device in the future). Kleptographic algorithms attacking Public Key Cryptosystems (including some recent developments) and some of their implications regarding "trust" will be discussed.


(This is based on joint work with Adam Young.)


Reception to follow.





Moti Yung is a Research Scientist with Google. He is also an Adjunct Senior Research Faculty in the computer science department of Columbia University. Before that, he was a technology consultant to leading companies and governments, a member of RSA Labs, a Chief Scientist of CertCo Inc. (originally, Bankers Trust Electronic Commerce), and a member of IBM Research. His main current research interests are in the areas of security, cryptography, and privacy.

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