2014 Keynote Speaker
Dr. Kris Gaj, George Mason University
Battles of Cryptographic Algorithms: From AES to CAESAR in Software & Hardware
Cryptographic contests have emerged as a commonly accepted way of developing cryptographic standards. This process was applied for the first time to symmetric-key block ciphers, during the Advanced Encryption Standard competition, held in the period 1997-2001. A similar approach has been later extended to multiple other cryptographic transformations, during subsequent contests, such as NESSIE, CRYPTREC, eSTREAM, and SHA-3. Most recently, the CAESAR competition, devoted to the design and thorough analysis of a new generation of authenticated ciphers, has been put in motion by an informal committee of over 20 leading cryptographic experts. Four typical criteria taken into account in evaluation of candidates in cryptographic contests are security, performance in software, performance in hardware, and flexibility. Although security is commonly accepted to be the most important criterion, it is rarely by itself sufficient to determine a winner. Typically, multiple candidates offer sufficient security, and the trade-offs between security and performance must be investigated. Comparing remaining candidates in terms of these trade-offs is a challenging task, and hardware performance, due to significant differences among competing candidates, has played a decisive role in multiple contests from AES to SHA-3. In this talk, I will analyze typical evaluation pitfalls and objective challenges facing the evaluators of cryptographic algorithms from the point of view of performance in hardware. I will present practical benchmarking methodologies and tools that facilitate overcoming these difficulties, developed during the recent SHA-3 competition. I will also discuss the remaining challenges and new approaches to the specification and evaluation of cryptographic algorithms, worth exploring in the future.
Kris Gaj received the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Warsaw University of Technology in Warsaw, Poland. He was a co-founder of Enigma, a Polish company that generates practical software and hardware cryptographic applications used by major Polish banks. In 1998, he joined George Mason University, where he currently works as an Associate Professor, doing research and teaching courses in the area of cryptographic engineering, network security, and reconfigurable computing. His research interests center on benchmarking cryptographic algorithms and new hardware architectures for secret key ciphers, hash functions, public key cryptosystems, and factoring. He has been a member of the Program Committees of CHES, CryptArchi, CT-RSA, DSD, FPT, LightSec, Quo Vadis Cryptology, ReConFig, ReCoSoc, and SPACE; a General Co-chair of CHES 2008 in Washington D.C., a Program Co-chair of CHES 2009 in Lausanne, Switzerland, and a Program Co-chair of SHARCS 2012 in Washington D.C. He is an author of a book on breaking German Enigma cipher during World War II, and a co-author of a book on Cryptographic Engineering. In 2010-2013, he led a major NIST-sponsored project on evaluation of SHA-3 candidates in software and hardware, and currently he is working on new approaches to the evaluation of candidates in the CAESAR competition for authenticated ciphers.