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  • CS Colloquium: Julia Len - Designing secure-by-default cryptography for computer systems

    Wed, Apr 17, 2024 @ 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

    Thomas Lord Department of Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Julia Len, Cornell University

    Talk Title: Designing secure-by-default cryptography for computer systems

    Series: Computer Science Colloquium

    Abstract: Designing cryptography that protects against all the threats seen in deployment can be surprisingly hard to do. This frequently translates into mitigations which offload important security decisions onto practitioners or even end users. The end result is subtle vulnerabilities in our most important cryptographic protocols. In this talk, I will present an overview of my work in two major areas on designing cryptography for real-world applications that targets security by default: (1) symmetric encryption and (2) key transparency for end-to-end encrypted systems. I will describe my approach of understanding real-world threats to provide robust, principled defenses with strong assurance against these threats in practice. My work includes introducing a new class of attacks exploiting symmetric encryption in applications, developing new theory to act as guidance in building better schemes, and designing practical cryptographic protocols. This work has seen impact through updates in popular encryption tools and IETF draft standards and through the development of protocols under consideration for deployment.
    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium

    Biography: Julia Len is a Ph.D. candidate at Cornell University where she is advised by Thomas Ristenpart and is based in New York City at Cornell Tech. Her research interests are broadly in the areas of applied cryptography and computer security. Julia has been named a 2023 Rising Star in EECS and has received the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. She has also worked at Zoom and Microsoft on cryptographic protocol designs which are being considered for deployment in their video calling products.

    Host: Jiapeng Zhang / Konstantinos Psounis

    Location: Olin Hall of Engineering (OHE) - 132

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: CS Faculty Affairs

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