IC Colloquium: Could Anonymity be a Myth?


Event details

Date 18.12.2023
Hour 16:1517:30
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars
Event Language English
By: Yvo Desmedt - University of Texas at Dallas
Video of his talk

Chaum's 1980's Dining Cryptographers and Chaum's MIX are very well known approaches towards anonymity. At that time it was not customary for cryptographers to model the security goal. So, Chaum never modeled anonymity. Afterwards researchers were building on top of Chaum's solution, but were not looking back at the foundations of anonymity. We show that there are message probabilities for which anonymity is completely impossible. Moreover, we show that sometimes Chaum's solutions are not optimal and leak information about the sender/receiver.

This paper appeared in IEEE Tr. on Information Theory 2019.

*Note*: This talk is open to anyone familiar only with probability theory.

Yvo Desmedt is the Jonsson Distinguished Professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, a Fellow of the International Association of Cryptologic Research (IACR) and a Member of the Belgium Royal Academy of Science. He received his Ph.D. (1984, Summa cum Laude) from the University of Leuven, Belgium. He held positions at: Universite de Montreal, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee (founding director of the Center for Cryptography, Computer and Network Security), and Florida State University (Director of the Laboratory of Security and Assurance in Information Technology). He was BT Chair, Chair of Information Communication Technology at University College London and lately Honorary Professor.  He has held numerous visiting appointments. He is the Editor-in-Chief of IET Information Security and Chair of the Steering Committee of CANS.  He was Program Chair of e.g., Crypto 1994, the ACM Workshop on Scientific Aspects of Cyber Terrorism 2002, and ISC 2013. He has authored over 200 refereed papers, primarily on cryptography, computer security, and network security. He has made important predictions, such as his 1983 technical description how cyber could be used to attack control systems (realized by Stuxnet), and his 1996 prediction hackers will target Certifying Authorities (DigiNotar was targeted in 2011). He also authored the first paper on Hardware Trojan (Proc. Crypto 1986) and posed searchable encryption as an open problem in 1993 (NSPW). He was requested to give feedback on: the report by the US Presidential Commission on Critical Infrastructures Protection, the list of Top 10 Scientific Issues Concerning Development of Human Society (China), and gave feedback on some US NIST standards. He suggested that NIST makes a Threshold Cryptography standard.

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Practical information

  • General public
  • Free


  • Host: Serge Vaudenay