Vinod Vaikuntanathan – Cryptography Against Memory Attacks

CITP Luncheon Series

Date: Friday, April 10, 2009
Time: 12:30 -1:30 pm
Location: 306 Sherrerd Hall
Food and discussion begins at 12:30 pm. Everyone invited.

The absolute privacy of secrets has been the corner-stone of modern cryptography. However, there is ample evidence that, in practice, nothing is ever perfectly secret; in other words, secrets do tend to leak. In this talk, I will describe a class of attacks that we call “memory attacks.” Memory attacks capture and generalize the recently proposed “cold-boot attacks” which are powerful enough to break the security of commonly used cryptographic algorithms such as the RSA public-key cryptosystem and the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).

I will show a variety of encryption schemes that are provably robust against these attacks. Notably, the design of these cryptographic algorithms is done without increasing the size of the secrets, and without introducing any complication in the natural encryption and decryption routines.