Past Distinguished Lectures

DLS in Cybersecurity with Peter Y. A. Ryan: Trust and Trustworthiness of Voting Systems

Prof. Peter Y. A. Ryan, University of Luxembourg

July, 18, 2019

Abstract
Democracy is a defining feature of civilised societies, but it is delicate and vulnerable. In recent years, we have seen the threats to democratic processes brought into sharp relief, and, arguably, we have witnessed some spectacular failures of democracy. The increasing digitisation of democracy brings with it the potential to enrich it but also a raft of novel and poorly understood attack vectors. These threats can undermine the conduct of elections, the surrounding systems of voter registration, electoral rolls, voter authentication, and the conduct of campaigns, fake news etc.

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DLS in Cybersecurity with Juan Garay: Foundational Aspects of Blockchain Protocols

Prof. Juan Garay, Texas A&M University, USA

July, 04, 2019

Abstract
Decentralized cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have ignited much excitement, not only for their novel realization of central bank-free financial instruments, but also as an alternative approach to classical distributed computing problems, such as reaching agreement distributedly in the presence of misbehaving parties, as well as to numerous other applications―contracts, reputation systems, name services, etc. The soundness and security of these applications, however, hinge on the thorough understanding of the fundamental properties of their underlying blockchain data structure, which parties (“miners”) maintain and try to extend by generating proofs of various kinds, “proofs of work” (PoW, aka “cryptographic puzzle”) perhaps being the most interesting ones.

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DLS in Cybersecurity with Alice J O'Toole: Turning a face recognition black box white: Understanding what deep convolutional neural networks learn about faces

Prof. Alice J. O’Toole, The University of Texas at Dallas, USA

June, 03, 2019

 - Attention:  exceptionally, this DLS takes place on a monday -
Abstract

Real-world face recognition requires an ability to perceive the uniqueness of a face across multiple, variable images. Deep convolutional neural networks (DCNNs) accomplish this feat and can be analyzed in a multidimensional “face space”.

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DLS in Cybersecurity with Gene Tsudik: VRASED: Verifiable Remote Attestation for Simple Embedded Devices

Prof. Gene Tsudik, University of California, Irvine, USA

March, 19, 2019

 - Attention:  exceptionally, this DLS takes place on a tuesday -
Abstract

Remote Attestation (RA) is a security service that allows a trusted verifier (Vrf) to measure the software state of an untrusted remote device -- Prv. If correctly implemented, RA allows Vrf to remotely detect if Prv is in an illegal or compromised state. Although several RA architectures have been proposed, little attention has been devoted to their verifiability and security guarantees that can be derived through formal verification of RA architectures.

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DLS in Cybersecurity mit N. Asokan: Hardware-assisted run-time protection: on balancing security and deployability

Prof. N. Asokan, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland

February, 14, 2019

Run-time attacks are a prominent attack vector for compromising systems written in memory-unsafe languages like C and C++. Over the last decade there has been significant advances by both researchers and practitioners in understanding and defending against run-time attacks, especially those that attempt to defeat control-flow integrity (CFI). As CFI defenses are gradually being deployed, data-oriented attacks will become increasingly attractive. ....

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DLS in Cybersecurity with Daniel Keim: The Power of Visual Analytics for Security Applications

Prof. Daniel Keim, Universität Konstanz

January, 31, 2019

Abstract:
Smart contracts are applications that run on and inherit the special properties of blockchains. These properties alone, though, do not make smart contracts broadly useful. Persistence prevents tampering, but makes errors irreversible. Transparency supports behavioral assurances, but at the cost of confidentiality. 

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CANCELLED: DLS in Cybersecurity - Tracing Stolen Bitcoin

Prof. Ross Anderson, University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, UK

July, 12, 2018

Unfortunately, this DLS in Cybersecurity can not take place. It will be made up later.

Abstract:
We've been exploring how to track stolen bitcoin. Previous attempts to do this had got entangled in the problem of dealing with transactions that split bitcoin into change, or that consolidate smaller sums into larger ones, and with mining fees. One answer comes from an unexpected direction: a legal precedent in 1816....

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DLS in Cybersecurity with Ari Juels: Beyond Smarts: Toward Correct, Private, Data-Rich Smart Contracts

Prof. Ari Juels, Cornell Tech, New York, USA

June, 21, 2018

Abstract:
Smart contracts are applications that run on and inherit the special properties of blockchains. These properties alone, though, do not make smart contracts broadly useful. Persistence prevents tampering, but makes errors irreversible. Transparency supports behavioral assurances, but at the cost of confidentiality. 

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DLS in Cyberecurity: Grand Research Challenges for Cybersecurity of Critical Information and Infrastructures

Prof. Paulo Esteves-Veríssimo, University of Luxembourg

May, 24, 2018

Abstract:
Computing and communications infrastructures have become commodities which societies largely depend on, transacting huge quantities of data and exhibiting pervasive interconnections, sometimes in critical conditions. However, the actual magnitude that security and dependability risks may assume, is often misperceived. The information society has been assuming risk behaviours, without the adequate protection. Many stakeholders, not only end-users but vendors, service providers, public administrations and - what may be surprising - even governments, seem to ignore those risks, in different ways.

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DLS in Cybersecurity: From Provable Security to Secure Cryptographic Implementations

Prof. Gilles Barthe, University of Manchester, UK

April, 19, 2018

Abstract
Building secure cryptographic implementations is notoriously hard. In this talk, I will outline a general methodology that delivers formal guarantees on assembly-level implementations through a combination of ideas from deductive program verification, program analysis, and verified compilation.

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