The lab focuses on all aspects of the design, analysis, and deployment of asymmetric cryptographic primitives and protocols.
Asymmetric or public-key cryptography, introduced by Diffie and Hellman 30 years ago, is one of the main innovations in modern cryptography. In contrast to private-key cryptography, in which parties need to share a secret in advance, public-key cryptography enables secure communication between two or more parties without requiring previously established shared secrets. In public-key cryptography, each user has a pair of related keys associated to it, a public key and a secret key. While the public key is made public to all parties, including an adversary, the secret key should only be known by the user to which it is associated.
Nowadays, public-key cryptography has become very popular and is a crucial component of most cryptographic applications. Systems using public-key cryptography protect the communication over the Internet for secure web-browsing, email transmission, and secure online collaboration using virtual private networks, they allow for securing critical company data and on storage and backup media, and they are critical for establishing secure identities (on the Internet and in the physical world, with the recent introduction of e-passports). Advanced applications of public-key cryptography include secure payment systems, secure electronic voting, and secure auctions. Thus, it is patent that the study of asymmetric cryptographic primitives and protocols is of utmost importance.
The MAYA virtual lab aims to coordinate and facilitate research in the following areas of public-key cryptography:
- Cryptographic primitives (e.g., public-key encryption, digital signatures).
- Multi-party protocols (e.g., secure auctions, electronic voting).
- Techniques for asymmetric cryptanalysis.
- Mathematical foundations of public-key cryptography.