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Computer Science Colloquia

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Stefano Tessaro
Host: abhi shelat

3:30 PM, Rice Hall, Room 130 (auditorium), followed by a reception in Rice Hall Fourth Floor Atrium (west end)

Theoretical Foundations for Applied Cryptography


My talk explains that obtaining quality applied cryptography (i.e., with the desired combination of security assurance and performance) requires significant and deep advances in theory. I will discuss three illustrative examples.

First, I will present my results on a process called security amplification that may be used to make block ciphers (the workhorses of modern cryptography under which encryption is ubiquitously performed) more secure against cryptanalysis.

Second, I will introduce my theory of multi-instance security, which may be applied to provide the first theoretical analysis of the effectiveness of the classical practice of password salting.

Third, I will bridge a 35-year gap between the information& coding community and the cryptography community by providing cryptographic foundations, as well as schemes with optimal parameters, for private communication based solely on the assumption that the communication channel from sender to adversary is noisier than the one from sender to receiver. The resulting schemes, being keyless, are particularly attractive in wireless communication scenarios.

Biosketch: Stefano Tessaro is currently a research scientist in the Cryptography and Information Security group at MIT CSAIL. He received his MSc and PhD from ETH Zurich in 2005 and 2010, respectively. From 2010 to 2012, he was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, San Diego. His research interests are in cryptography and its connections to theoretical computer science and information theory.

*Mr. Tessaro is a faculty candidate for the Department of Computer Science.