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Computer Science Colloquia

Friday, March 22, 2013
Huijia (Rachel) Lin, MIT and Boston University
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

ABSTRACT

Cryptographic protocols have been developed for a variety of tasks, including electronic auctions, electronic voting systems, privacy preserving data mining and more. Traditionally, these cryptographic protocols were analyzed in a simple "stand-alone" model which considers a single execution of the protocols taking place in isolation. Yet, in open networks, such as the Internet, executions of cryptographic protocols may occur concurrently. This concurrency undermines the security of protocols designed for the simple "stand-alone" model. As a consequence, in the past two decades, the study of concurrent security has been a main effort in Cryptography.

In this talk, I will present the first concurrently-secure protocols that enable securely performing general tasks (including all the above-mentioned ones), without relying on any trusted infrastructures or strong hardness assumptions. In particular, I introduce a novel technique that transforms any cryptographic protocol designed for the simple "stand-alone" setting, into one that is secure under concurrent executions. On the way, I solve a two-decade-old open problem, originating in the seminal paper introducing concurrent security.
Bio: Huijia Lin is currently a post-doctoral researcher at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the Department of Computer Science at Boston University. Earlier, she obtained a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell University. Her research interests are in the field of cryptography.