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The Taub Faculty of Computer Science Events and Talks

Cryptography Outside the Black Box
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Omer Paneth - CS-Lecture
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Tuesday, 09.01.2018, 10:30
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Room 601 Taub Bld.
Computational problems whose input is a program are central in Cryptography, as well as Complexity, Learning, and Optimization. The nature of such problems crucially depends on the way the program is accessed -- as a black box or explicitly by its implementation. In which settings can we exploit code to gain an advantage over black-box access? In Cryptography, we explore this question from two opposing perspectives: - Protecting Code: Can we obfuscate a program's code so that its functionality is preserved but it is otherwise unintelligible? Intuitively, such obfuscated code reveals nothing more than black-box access to the program. Obfuscation is, therefore, a powerful tool with numerous applications in software protection and Cryptography. - Exploiting Code: Most security proofs in cryptography consist of a reduction that translates any potential attacker into an algorithm solving some underlying hard problem. While most security reductions only require black-box access to the attacker, for many applications black-box reductions are provably insufficient. Can we exploit the attacker's code to prove security where black-box reductions fail? In this talk, I will describe new techniques for protecting and exploiting code, taking advantage of the inherent tension between these two tasks. I will also demonstrate applications of these techniques in and beyond cryptography. Short Bio: ========== Omer Paneth is a postdoctoral associate at the cryptography group at MIT. His research interests include program obfuscation, verifiable delegation of computation, and secure protocols. He earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Boston University in 2016.