Cryptography, applied

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Visible to the public TWC: Large: Collaborative: Verifiable Hardware: Chips that Prove their Own Correctness

This project addresses how semiconductor designers can verify the correctness of ICs that they source from possibly untrusted fabricators. Existing solutions to this problem are either based on legal and contractual obligations, or use post-fabrication IC testing, both of which are unsatisfactory or unsound. As a sound alternative, this project designs and fabricates verifiable hardware: ICs that provide proofs of their correctness for every input-output computation they perform in the field.

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Visible to the public TWC: Small: Practical Assured Big Data Analysis in the Cloud

The use of "cloud technologies" presents a promising avenue for the requirements of big data analysis. Security concerns however represent a major impediment to the further adoption of clouds: through the sharing of cloud resources, an attack succeeding on one node can tamper with many applications sharing that node.

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Visible to the public TWC: Small: Collaborative: RUI: Towards Energy-Efficient Privacy-Preserving Active Authentication of Smartphone Users

Common smartphone authentication mechanisms such as PINs, graphical passwords, and fingerprint scans offer limited security. They are relatively easy to guess or spoof, and are ineffective when the smartphone is captured after the user has logged in. Multi-modal active authentication addresses these challenges by frequently and unobtrusively authenticating the user via behavioral biometric signals, such as touchscreen interaction, hand movements, gait, voice, and phone location.

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Visible to the public Forum on Cyber Resilience

This project provides support for a National Academies Roundtable, the Forum on Cyber Resilience. The Forum will facilitate and enhance the exchange of ideas among scientists, practitioners, and policy makers concerned with the resilience of computing and communications systems, including the Internet, critical infrastructure, and other societally important systems.

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Visible to the public TWC: TTP Option: Small: Open-Audit Voting Systems---Protocol Models and Properties

Open-audit cryptographic voting protocols enable the verification of election outcomes, independent of whether election officials or polling machines behave honestly. Many open-audit voting systems have been prototyped and deployed. The City of Takoma Park, MD held its 2009 and 2011 city elections using voting system Scantegrity. Systems with similar properties are being proposed for use in Victoria, Australia (the Pret a Voter system) and Travis County, Texas (the STAR-Vote system).

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Visible to the public CRII: SaTC: Design, Implementation, and Analysis of Quantum-Resistant Algorithms on Smart Handheld Embedded Devices

The prospect of quantum computers is a threat against the security of currently used public key cryptographic algorithms. It has been widely accepted that, both public key cryptosystems including RSA and ECC will be broken by quantum computers employing certain algorithms. Although large-scale quantum computers do not yet exist, but the goal is to develop quantum-resistant cryptosystems in anticipation of quantum computers as most of the public key cryptography that is used on the Internet today is based on algorithms that are vulnerable to quantum attacks.

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Visible to the public TWC: Medium: CRYPTOGRAPHIC APPLICATIONS OF CAPACITY THEORY

The primary goal of this project is to develop a mathematical foundation underlying the analysis of modern cryptosystems. Cryptography is a core tool used to secure communications over the Internet. Secure and trustworthy communications and data storage are essential to national security and to the functioning of the world economy. Recent spectacular research results have enabled the development of new types of cryptography, exciting new potential applications, and hopes for stronger guarantees of cryptographic security in the long term.

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Visible to the public TWC: Small: Collaborative: Practical Security Protocols via Advanced Data Structures

Data structures have a prominent modern computational role, due to their wide applicability, such as in database querying, web searching, and social network analysis. This project focuses on the interplay of data structures with security protocols, examining two different paradigms: the security for data structures paradigm (SD) and the data structures for security paradigm (DS).

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Visible to the public TWC: Medium: Collaborative: Black-Box Evaluation of Cryptographic Entropy at Scale

The ability to generate random numbers -- to flip coins -- is crucial for many computing tasks, from Monte Carlo simulation to secure communications. The theory of building such subsystems to generate random numbers is well understood, but the gap between theory and practice is surprisingly wide. As built today, these subsystems are opaque and fragile. Flaws in these subsystems can compromise the security of millions of Internet hosts.

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Visible to the public  TWC: TTP Option: Medium: Voting Systems Architectures for Security and Usability

The security and integrity of elections is paramount in the furtherance of democracy. However, enhanced security often comes at the cost of making voting systems significantly more difficult for voters to use. With input from stakeholders in the voting process (most notably Travis County, Texas), we are constructing a prototype voting system and investigating how to design such a system so that it is significantly more secure than current solutions, without making it harder to participate in the election process.