Seminars at the Faculty of Informatics

The Faculty of Informatics is pleased to announce a seminar given by Adrian Perrig

TITLE: GAnGS: Gather, Authenticate 'n Group Securely
SPEAKER: Adrian Perrig, Carnegie Mellon University
DATE: Friday July 3rd, 2009
PLACE: USI Università della Svizzera italiana, room SI-006, Informatics building (Via G. Buffi 13)
TIME: 10.30


Establishing secure communication among a group of physically collocated people is a challenge. This problem can be reduced to establishing authentic public keys among all the participants -- these public keys then serve to establish a shared secret symmetric key for encryption and authentication of messages.  Unfortunately, in most real-world settings, public key infrastructures (PKI) are uncommon and distributing a secret in a public space is difficult.  Thus, it is a challenge to exchange authentic public keys in a scalable, secure, and easy to use fashion.

We propose GAnGS, a protocol for the secure exchange of authenticated information among a group of people. In contrast to prior work, GAnGS resists Group-in-the-Middle and Sybil attacks by malicious insiders, as well as infiltration attacks by malicious bystanders. GAnGS is designed to be robust to user errors, such as miscounting the number of participants or incorrectly comparing checksums.  We have implemented and evaluated GAnGS on Nokia N70 phones.  The GAnGS system is viable and achieves a good balance between scalability, security, and ease of use.


Adrian Perrig is a Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Engineering and Public Policy, and Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. Adrian also serves as the technical director for Carnegie Mellon's Cybersecurity Laboratory (CyLab) and for the iCast project. He earned his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University, and spent three years during his Ph.D. degree at University of California at Berkeley where he worked with his advisor Doug Tygar. He received his B.Sc. degree in Computer Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). Adrian's research revolves around building secure systems and includes network security, trustworthy computing and security for social networks. More specifically, he is interested in trust establishment, trustworthy code execution in the presence of malware, and how to design secure next-generation networks. More information about his research is available on Adrian's web page.  He is a recipient of the NSF CAREER award in 2004, IBM faculty fellowships in 2004 and 2005, and the Sloan research fellowship in 2006.


HOST: Prof. Marc Langheinrich

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