Cryptography in Context: Building Secure Systems

Duke Computer Science Colloquium
Speaker Name
Ian Miers
Date and Time
Lunch served at 11:45 am.

Advances in computer science have revolutionized many fields and caused computers to play a daily role in our lives. But the security of deployed systems has not kept pace.  We need better approaches to security that address the realities of how computers are used. Cryptography is frequently touted as such an approach. But it is often a square peg in a round hole, leaving gaps that make these systems insecure in the real world. My work makes cryptographic systems secure through a context-driven approach. It focuses on a specific real world security concern and works backwards to build practical security solutions. These contexts range from key compromise, to the security of encrypted message systems, to exploring the security and confidentiality of Bitcoin and blockchains. This talk will cover a few example of this approach, including Zerocash, the first system to offer confidentiality and public verifiability for cryptocurrencies.

Short Biography

Ian Miers is a postdoctoral researcher at Cornell Tech working on computer security and applied cryptography. His research focuses on making systems secure by exploring cryptography in the context of real world problems. This includes Zerocoin and Zerocash, the first systems to provide strongly confidential payments on top of public blockchains, and work improving mobile messaging including attacks on iMessage and new techniques for puncturable forward secure encryption. His work has been featured in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Economist, and denounced in at least two op-eds. He is one of the founders of Zcash, a privacy preserving cryptocurrency based on Zerocash.

Bruce Maggs