P&T Seminar: Kris Gaj (Mon Nov 6, 10:30am)

Battles of Cryptographic Algorithms: From AES to Post-Quantum Cryptography in Field Programmable Hardware

Monday, November 6th, 2017 at 10:30am
Johnson Center, Room D

Dr. Kris Gaj
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,
George Mason University

Cryptographicapplied for the first time to symmetric-key ciphers during the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) competition. A similar approach has been later extended to multiple other cryptographic transformations, during subsequent contests, such as eSTREAM, SHA-3, and CAESAR. Most recently, quantum computers have emerged as a threat to all modern cryptography as we know it. If such computers were ever made sufficiently scalable, they would easily break all current standards in the area of public-key cryptography, including algorithms protecting the majority of the Internet traffic. As a result, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has recently announced a new competitive process for developing standards resilient against quantum computers.

Although security is universally accepted as the most important criterion for evaluating candidates in all cryptographic contests, it is rarely by itself sufficient to determine a winner. Performance in hardware, and particularly in Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), has played a major role in the majority of past and ongoing contests.

In this talk, I will address major research challenges associated with efficient, fair, and comprehensive benchmarking of cryptographic algorithms in hardware. These challenges include large and growing number of candidates, multitude of hardware architectures and optimization targets, large number of tool options, effective visualization and reproducibility of results. Practical and efficient methods of overcoming these challenges, developed by my team, will be discussed, including the use of universal hardware Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), development packages, open-source code, tool option optimization tools, design space exploration, and High-Level Synthesis from C to VHDL.

I will also highlight new research directions and collaboration opportunities in the areas of side channel analysis, special-purpose heterogeneous platforms for codebreaking, and hardware security.

Biography: Dr. Kris Gaj is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at George Mason University. He received the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Warsaw University of Technology in Warsaw, Poland. He subsequently worked as a post-doc at University of Rochester. At George Mason University, he does research and teaches courses in the area of cryptographic engineering and reconfigurable computing. His research projects focus on new hardware architectures for symmetric-key ciphers, hash functions, public-key cryptosystems (including all major families of post-quantum schemes), and codebreaking, as well as computer arithmetic, high-level synthesis, and software/hardware codesign. He is the co-director of the Cryptographic Engineering Research Group (CERG), the author of a book on breaking German Enigma cipher during World War II, and the co-author of a book on cryptographic engineering.


Stephen G. Nash
Senior Associate Dean
Volgenau School of Engineering
George Mason University
Nguyen Engineering Building, Room 2500
Mailstop 5C8
Fairfax, VA 22030

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