CrySP Speaker Series on Privacy

This speaker series is made possible by an anonymous charitable donation in memory of cypherpunks and privacy advocates Len Sassaman, Hugh Daniel, Hal Finney, and Caspar Bowden.

Upcoming speakers

Sieve: Cryptographically Enforced Access Control for User Data in Untrusted Clouds

Frank Wang, MIT

February 1, 2017 2:30pm, in DC 2585


Modern web services rob users of low-level control over cloud storage—a user’s single logical data set is scattered across multiple storage silos whose access controls are set by web services, not users. The consequence is that users lack the ultimate authority to determine how their data is shared with other web services. In this talk, we introduce Sieve, a new platform which selectively (and securely) exposes user data to web services. Sieve has a user-centric storage model: each user uploads encrypted data to a single cloud store, and by default, only the user knows the decryption keys. Given this storage model, Sieve defines an infrastructure to support rich, legacy web applications. Using attribute-based encryption, Sieve allows users to define intuitively understandable access policies that are cryptographically enforceable. Using key homomorphism, Sieve can reencrypt user data on storage providers in situ, revoking decryption keys from web services without revealing new keys to the storage provider. Using secret sharing and two-factor authentication, Sieve protects cryptographic secrets against the loss of user devices like smartphones and laptops. The result is that users can enjoy rich, legacy web applications, while benefiting from cryptographically strong controls over which data a web service can access.


Frank is a PhD student at MIT focusing on building secure systems. He got his bachelor’s degree from Stanford with a focus on applied cryptography. He runs the MIT security seminar and a summer program for early stage security companies called Cybersecurity Factory. He has interned on the security teams at Google and Facebook as well as consulted on security strategy for various companies. When he is not busy worrying about your security, he enjoys going to art museums and being outdoors.

OnionScan: Practical Deanonymization of Hidden Services

Sarah Jamie Lewis, OnionScan

February 2, 2017 3:00pm, in DC 1304


Hidden Services have a reputation for being anonymous & difficult to penetrate due to the cryptography underlying anonymity networks like Tor. However, many web applications are not designed with the anonymity threat model in mind. If these applications are not configured properly they leak information, which can lead to the discovery of connections between hidden services, or deanonymization of the operators or users. This talk presents OnionScan, a project which scans over 10,000 onion domains, reports on the prevalence of vulnerabilities & discovers new methods of extracting information from hidden services. Results from OnionScan demonstrate that nearly a third of all hidden services are trivially vulnerable and at risk of deanonymization.


Sarah Jamie Lewis is an independent security researcher currently living in Vancouver Canada. She has a passion for privacy & anonymity and runs Mascherari Press, an organization dedicated to conducting & promoting privacy research that helps marginalized & at-risk communities empower themselves. She also maintains OnionScan, a large scale dark web scanning project, which currently analyzes over 10,000 dark web sites for deanonymization vulnerabilities.
In the past Sarah worked as a Computer Scientist for the British Government and a Security Engineer at Amazon analyzing threat models and designing defenses to protect against fraud and security risks.

The State of Secure Messaging: Ratchets, Keys, and Metadata

Nikita Borisov, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

February 3, 2017 2:30pm, in DC 1304

Josh Benaloh, Microsoft Research

March 14, 2017 10:30am, in DC 1304

Past speakers


1 Dec 2016: David Murakami Wood, Queen's University
"Hack the Planet! From phone phreaking to subverting planetary infrastructures"
15 Sep 2016: Valerie Steeves, University of Ottawa
"What Hello Barbie Can Tell Us About Behavioural Targeting"


7 Jul 2016: Paul van Oorschot, Carleton University
"Password expiration policies: quantifying assumed security benefits"
10 May 2016: David Wu, Stanford University
"Constraining Pseudorandom Functions Privately"
1 Apr 2016: Seda Gürses, Princeton University
"PET Sematary: Privacy's return from the dead and the rise of Privacy Engineering"
11 Mar 2016: Eva Infeld, Darthmouth College
"Matching Theory and Anonymity"
2 Feb 2016: Alison Macrina, Library Freedom Project
"Grassroots surveillance resistance at your local library"
20 Jan 2016: Rob Jansen, Naval Research Laboratory
"Shadow: Scalable Simulation for Systems Security Research"
2 Dec 2015: Matthew Wright, University of Texas at Arlington
"Teaching Users Random System-Assigned Passwords"
1 Sep 2015: Nicholas Hopper, University of Minnesota
"Secure Load Balancing in Tor with Peerflow"


27 Jul 2015: Amir Herzberg, Bar Ilan University
"Cross-site Search Attacks: Practical Side-channel Privacy Attacks on Web Services"


5 Aug 2014: Nicholas Hopper, University of Minnesota
"New adversary models for censorship circumvention schemes"
25 Jul 2014: Joseph Bonneau, Center for Information Technology Policy
"Storing 56-bit keys in human memory"
4 Jul 2014: Christopher Parsons, University of Toronto
"Stuck on the Agenda—Lesson drawing from 'lawful access' issues in Canada"
18 Jun 2014: Radu Sion, Stony Brook University
"Modern Secure Data Management"
24 Apr 2014: Rajesh Krishna Balan, Singapore Management University
"The LiveLabs Urban LifeStyle Innovation Platform: Opportunities, Challenges, and Current Results"
27 Mar 2014: Kevin Dyer, Portland State University
"Libfte: A User-Friendly Toolkit for Constructing Practical Format-Abiding Encryption Schemes"
31 Jan 2014: Rob Johnson, Stony Brook University
"Website Fingerprinting Attacks and Defenses"
16 Dec 2013: N. Asokan, Aalto University
"On Mobile Malware"
21 Oct 2013: Kelly Caine, Clemson University
"A human-centered tool for enhancing patient privacy in electronic medical record systems"
9 Oct 2013: Patrick Traynor, Georgia Institute of Technology
"Chasing Telephony Security: Where the Wild Things... Are?"


26 Jun 2013: Vaibhav Garg, Drexel University
"Cars, Condoms, and the Privacy Paradox: A Case Study with Facebook"
16 Apr 2013: Michael Reiter, University of North Carolina
"How to Misuse, Use, and Mitigate Side Channels in Virtualized Environments"
3 Apr 2013: Michael Brennan, SecondMuse
"Catalyzing Social Change as a Privacy and Security Technologist"
14 Mar 2013: Dawn Song, UC Berkeley
"Privacy in Emerging Technologies: Challenges, Attacks, and Defenses"
10 Oct 2012: Ian Kerr, University of Ottawa
"Repo Men Are Coming: Body EULAs, Privacy and Security of the Person"
11 Sep 2012: Patrick Ball, Benetech
"Human rights, data analysis, and the truth: technical and epistemological reflections from twenty years building software and doing analysis to study mass atrocities"


14 Aug 2012: Joel Reardon, ETH Zurich
"Data Node Encrypted File System: Efficient Secure Deletion for Flash Memory"
2 Aug 2012: Micah Sherr, Georgetown University
"Security and Privacy of Legally Authorized Telephone Surveillance"


19 Jan 2012: Sonia Chiasson, Carleton University
"The convergence of human factors and computer security"
12 Dec 2011: Nadia Heninger, UC San Diego
"Approximate common divisors via lattices"
14 Nov 2011: Eugene Vasserman, Kansas State University
"Censorship Resistant Overlay Publishing"
21 Nov 2011: Vinod Vaikuntanathan, University of Toronto
"Computing Blindfolded: New Developments in Fully Homomorphic Encryption"
24 October 2011: Kevin Bauer, University of Waterloo
"Improving Security and Performance in Low-Latency Anonymity Networks"
7 September 2011: Tamir Tassa, The Open University of Israel
"Generalized Oblivious Transfer by Secret Sharing"
8 August 2011: Ahmad-Reza Sadeghi, Technical University Darmstadt
"Cloudy and Phony: On the Convergence of Cloud and Smartphone Security"
26 July 2011: Jean-Pierre Hubaux, EPFL
"Two Short Talks about the Security of Web Applications"
28 May 2011: Ryan Henry, University of Waterloo
"Formalizing and Extending Anonymous Blacklisting Systems"

2010-2011 (MITACS Speaker Series on Privacy)

1 April 2011: Matthew Wright, University of Texas at Arlington
"Removing Detectable Statistics from Covert Channels"
11 March 2011: Prateek Mittal, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
"Throughput Fingerprinting-based Traffic Analysis of Low Latency Anonymous Communication"
8 Mar 2011: Mohammad Hossein Manshaei, EPFL
"Game Theory Meets Network Security and Privacy"
15 Dec 2010: Femi Olumofin, University of Waterloo
"Preserving Access Privacy Over Large Databases"
10 Dec 2010: Aleksander Essex, University of Waterloo
"Eperio: Mitigating Technical Complexity in Cryptographic Election Verificaiton"
9 Dec 2010: Ryan Henry, University of Waterloo
"Nymbler: Privacy-enhanced Protection from Abuses of Anonymity"
3 Dec 2010: Jeremy Clark, University of Waterloo
"Selections: An Internet Voting System with Over-the-shoulder Coercion Resistance"
1 Dec 2010: Femi Olumofin, University of Waterloo
"Revisiting the Computational Practicality of Private Information Retrieval"
26 Nov 2010: Aleksander Essex, University of Waterloo
"Hacking Democracy: An Election Fraudster's Tricks of the Trade"
12 Nov 2010: Stacey Jeffery, University of Waterloo
"Dealing with Ghosts: Trading Robustness for Correctness and Privacy in Certain Multiparty Functions, Beyond an Honest Majority"
22 October 2010: Kevin Bauer, University of Colorado
"Toward Improving Tor's Security and Performance"
24 September 2010: Alessandro Acquisti, Carnegie Mellon University
"Privacy, Behavioral Economics, and the Control Paradox"
9 Sep 2010: Christian Henrich, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
"Bingo Voting — Verifiable Voting Scheme Based on a Trusted Random Number Generator"
26 July 2010: Maura Paterson, Birkbeck, University of London
"Distinct-difference configurations: multihop paths and key predistribution in sensor networks"
14 July 2010: Atefeh Mashatan, EPFL
"A Message Recognition Protocol Based on Standard Assumptions"
12 July 2010: Tara Whalen, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
"Technology and Privacy: A Short Tour through an Emerging Landscape"

A video of the talk is available.

8 July 2010: Greg Zaverucha, University of Waterloo
"Constant-Size Commitments to Polynomials and Their Applications"
5 July 2010: Qi Xie, University of Waterloo
"Privacy-Preserving Interest Matching for Mobile Social Networking"
25 June 2010: Michael Reiter, University of North Carolina
"Defending Against Client Compromises in Client-Server Applications"
21 Jun 2010: Can Tang, University of Waterloo
"An Improved Algorithm for Tor Circuit Scheduling"
27 May 2010: Aniket Kate, University of Waterloo
"Distributed Private-Key Generators for Identity-Based Cryptography"
11 May 2010: Roger Dingledine, The Tor Project
"Tor and censorship: lessons learned"
7 May 2010: Rachel Greenstadt, Drexel University
"Privacy & Stylometry: Exploring the Limitations and Potential of Automated Authorship Recognition"

2009-2010 (MITACS Speaker Series on Privacy)

19 March 2010: Rosario Gennaro, IBM Research
"Non-Interactive Verifiable Computing: Outsourcing Computation to Untrusted Workers"
9 March 2010: Tadayoshi Kohno, University of Washington
"Increasing Privacy with Self-destructing Data"
5 March 2010: Wanying Luo, University of Waterloo
"Designing a Privacy-Aware Location Proof Architecture"
5 February 2010: Jeremy Clark, University of Waterloo
"The First Governmental Election with a Voter Verifiable Tally: Experiences using Scantegrity II at Takoma Park"
15 January 2010: Nick Hopper, University of Minnesota
"Scalable Anonymous Overlay Networks"
14 January 2010: Aniket Kate, University of Waterloo
"Using Sphinx to Improve Onion Routing Circuit Construction"
3 December 2009: Sherman Chow, New York University
"Improving Privacy and Security in Multi-Authority Attribute-Based Encryption"
1 December 2009: Periklis Papakonstantinou, University of Toronto
"On the Impossibility of Basing Identity Based Encryption on Trapdoor Permutations"
29 October 2009: Berkant Ustaoğlu, NTT Information Sharing Platform Laboratories
"Multi-party Off-the-Record Messaging"
15 October 2009: Greg Zaveruca, University of Waterloo
"The Identity Mixer Anonymous Credential System"
1 October 2009: Jason Hinek, University of Calgary
"Towards Attribute-Based Encryption Without Key Delegation"
22 July 2009: Ian Goldberg, University of Waterloo
"Sphinx: A Compact and Provably Secure Mix Format"
15 June 2009: Aniket Kate, University of Waterloo
"Distributed Key Generation for the Internet"
27 May 2009: Aniket Kate, University of Waterloo
"Anonymous Key Agreement in an Identity-Based Infrastructure"
8 May 2009: Prof. Nikita Borisov, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
"Peer-to-peer Anonymous Communication: Approaches and Pitfalls"

2008-2009 (MITACS Speaker Series on Privacy)

30 March 2009: Chris Alexander, University of Waterloo
"Plinko: Polling with a Physical Implementation of a Noisy Channel"
23 February 2009: Jennifer Granick, Electronic Frontier Foundation
"Cutting Edge Cases in Digital Privacy and Crime"
18 February 2009: Greg Zaverucha, University of Waterloo
"Private Intersection of Certified Sets"
11 November 2008: Atefeh Mashatan, University of Waterloo
"Message recognition protocols for ad hoc networks"
29 September 2008: Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian
"Change the Paradigm: Embed Privacy into Technology and Ride the Next Wave"

A video of the talk is available.

18 September 2008: Joel Reardon, University of Waterloo
"Improving Tor using a TCP-over-DTLS tunnel"
19 August, 2008: Kevin Henry, University of Waterloo
"The theory and applications of homomorphic cryptography"
16 July 2008: Ge Zhong, University of Waterloo
"Distributed approaches for location privacy"
9 July 2008: Ryan Stedman, University of Waterloo
"A user study of Off-the-Record Messaging"
2 July 2008: Maura Paterson, Royal Holloway, University of London
"Aspects of key management in wireless sensor networks"
9 June 2008: Chengxi Zhang, University of Waterloo
"On achieving security and privacy preservation for vehicular communications"
8 April 2008: Stefan Saroiu, University of Toronto
"Towards eradicating phishing attacks"


Cryptography, Security, and Privacy Research Group
David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
Tel: 519-888-4567 x36163
Fax: 519-885-1208

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