Cryptographic primitives for hardware security
Hardware plays a critical role in today's security landscape. Every protocol with security or privacy guarantees inevitably includes some hardware in its trusted computing base. The increasing number of vulnerability disclosures calls for a more rigorous approach to secure hardware designs. In this talk, I will present several cryptographic primitives to enhance the security of hardware.
I will first discuss the use of Physically Obfuscated Keys (POK) to strengthen the security of private keys. In particular, I will present a computational fuzzy extractor based on the Learning Parity with Noise (LPN) problem. Our construction uses stability information as a trapdoor to correct a constant fraction of POK errors efficiently. Next, I will describe our work on Oblivious RAM (ORAM), a cryptographic primitive to prevent access pattern leakage. I will present both architectural and algorithmic improvements to ORAM.
While hardware is often trusted as a line of defense, it can also be utilized by attackers. The advent of ASIC hash units calls into question the security of hash functions and proof-of-work systems. I will describe bandwidth-hard functions to achieve ASIC resistance and briefly touch on my other projects in blockchains and consensus.
Ling Ren is a final year graduate student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his Master's degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Bachelor's degree from Tsinghua University. His research interests span computer security, cryptography, computer architecture and distributed computing. He won the best student paper award at CCS 2013.