Algebraic Techniques for Low Communication Secure Protocols
Internet communication is often encrypted with the aid of mathematical problems that are hard to solve. Another method to secure electronic communication is the use of a digital lock of which the digital key must be exchanged first. PhD student Robbert de Haan (CWI) researched models for a guaranteed safe communication between two people without the exchange of a digital key and without assumptions concerning the practical difficulty of solving certain mathematical problems. In ancient times Julius Caesar used secret codes to make his messages illegible for spies. He upped every letter of the alphabet with three positions: A became D, Z became C, and so on. Usually, cryptographers research secure communication between two people through one channel that can be monitored by malevolent people. De Haan studied the use of multiple channels. A minority of these channels may be in the hands of adversaries that can intercept, replace or block the message. He proved the most efficient way to securely communicate along these channels and thus solved a fundamental cryptography problem that was introduced almost 20 years ago by Dole, Dwork, Naor and Yung.