• Wright, Rebecca (PI)

Project Details


Cryptography is one of the most important tools in securing data, communication, and cyberinfrastructure. Driven by ever-increasing amounts of data and the associated computational demands, organizations and individuals are outsourcing storage and computation to 'the cloud.' As our e-mail, medical, financial, and other personal information increasingly reside in systems outside of our direct control and are of increasing value to attackers, the need to simultaneously guarantee privacy, availability of data, and correctness of computations is paramount. This digital reality poses complex challenges to cryptography and requires a paradigm shift in our goals and mode of thinking. This research coordination network, led by DIMACS and the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing, will bring together cryptographers and others to depart from the traditional goals of cryptography, namely a relatively narrow focus on secure and authenticated communication, and significantly advance the state of the art toward systems that are simultaneously highly efficient, highly secure, and highly functional. Specific goals for this RCN project include bringing researchers together to facilitate and catalyze our understanding of: what primitives and performance can be obtained from specific intractability assumptions; fundamental tradeoffs and impossibility results; and how best to drive adoption by system designers and implementers of more secure technologies and practices. The project will start with an intensive Summer 2015 program at the Simons Institute to launch the collaboration and build momentum, followed by a two-year 'special focus' led by DIMACS that will sustain the project through Summer 2017 and expand it to include more people and more topics. The project will enable both foundational advances in cryptography and practical advances in its usability, providing improved security, flexibility, and efficiency. These advances have the ability to positively impact society by improving: the robustness of our national cyber infrastructure and cyber-connected physical infrastructure; the security of commercial applications in banking, health care, manufacturing, media, and more; and the extent to which individuals can have control over and confidence in protection of their personal data. Participants will be diverse across a variety of dimensions, including women and other under-represented groups; a mix of junior and senior participants; people from other disciplines and other areas of computer science beyond cryptography; and both industry and academic participants.
Effective start/end date5/15/154/30/18


  • National Science Foundation (National Science Foundation (NSF))


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