ACNS 2008 Invited Talks

Invited Talk 1: Wednesday, June 4 2008, 2:00-3:00 pm

Speaker: Hugo Krawzcyk
Title: "Getting Serious About Key Derivation Functions"

Abstract: In spite of their central security role in any cryptographic system, the design of multi-purpose key derivation functions (KDF) has traditionally been carried in ad-hoc ways with little analytical foundation. This is especially true for KDFs based on cryptographic hash functions (which is the most common case in practice) where hash functions are often "abused" by assuming that they behave as perfect random functions. This is particularly unsatisfying given the current (healthy) skepticism about the strength of our hash functions which calls for the design of KDFs that use the hash function as prudently as possible.  In this talk I will survey the "extract-then-expand" paradigm to thedesign of KDFs, and present a specific HMAC-based implementation that, similarly to the use of HMAC as a PRF, is more resilient to weaknesses in the underlying hash function. In particular, this design is well-suited to serve as a multi-purpose KDF that can be standardized for use in multiple and diverse applications.

Speaker Bio: Hugo Krawczyk is a member of the Cryptography Group at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. His areas of interest span theoretical and applied aspects of cryptography with particular emphasis on applications to network security. He has worked in the design, analysis and implementation of solutions for data encryption and authentication, key management, public key cryptography, Internet security, electronic commerce, payment systems, and security of mobile and wireless systems. Best known are his contributions to the cryptographic design of numerous Internet standards, particularly IPsec, IKE, TLS and SET. He is also a co-inventor of the HMAC message authentication algorithm. Dr. Krawczyk publishes regularly in cryptography and computer security venues, and is the recipient of numerous IBM awards for his contributions to industry.

Invited Talk 2: Thursday, June 5 2008, 2:00-3:00 pm

Speaker: Victor Miller
Title: "Elliptic Curves and Cryptography: a 23 year perspective"

Abstract: Elliptic Curves are beautiful and fundamental objects of study in Number Theory. They are curves (a set of solutions of an equation in two variables) whose points form an algebraic group -- a set of vectors in which the group operation is given by rational functions in the coordinates. In 1985, the author and Neal Koblitz independently suggested that using the set of points in an elliptic curve in analogy with the Diffie-Hellman key-exchange protocol would have more security than the original groups used -- non-zero elements of a finite fields with the group operation being multiplication. Since then elliptic curves have become important objects of study in cryptology, and a basic part of the curriculum. In this talk I'll give a tour through the history, with an emphasis on the people involved. I'll also mention the other, more recent, product of using elliptic curves in cryptography -- pairing based cryptography.

Speaker Bio: Victor Miller is a research staff member at the Center for Communications Research in Princeton, NJ. He received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Harvard in 1975. He spent five years in the Mathematics Department at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, before joining the Computer Science Department at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Laboratories, in 1978. While there, he received three research division outstanding technical achievement awards, and one corporate technical achIevement award. From 1984 until 1993 he was a member of the Exploratory Computer Science group in the Mathematics Department at Watson. In 1993 he joined CCR. He is the inventor of 2 patents in data compression -- one of which is used in the V.42bis modem standard. He is also the co-inventor of Elliptic Curve Cryptography, and of "Miller's Algorithm" which is of integral use in Identity Based Encryption using pairings.

Invited Talk 3: Friday, June 6 2008,  10:00-11:00 am

Speaker: Sal Stolfo
Title: "Insider Threat Detection: Host and Network Monitoring Techniques"

Abstract: The problem of insider threat is one of the most vexing problems for computer security research. We will present an overview of an ongoing collaborative project aimed at understanding human behavior and the insider threat. We describe some of the ongoing research at Columbia that aims to develop host-based sensors that detect unusual user behavior indicative of insider attack. We present an overview of prior work on masquerade detection and our most recent work to incorporate context and infer intent to more accurately identify potential insider attack. We also detail our current work on network-based decoy traffic and detection of misuse of honeytokens, purposely placed, realistic-looking decoy data designed to entice traitors into revealing their nefarious actions.

Speaker Bio: Salvatore J. Stolfo is Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University. He received his Ph.D. from NYU Courant Institute in 1979 and has been on the faculty of Columbia ever since. (See He has published extensively in the areas of parallel computing, AI knowledge-based systems, data mining, computer security and intrusion and anomaly detection systems. (See for complete details.) He has been awarded 15 patents in the areas of parallel computing and database inference, internet privacy, intrusion detection and computer security.