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New Notions of Security

Manoj M. Prabhakaran
Department of Computer Science
Princeton University

Monday, March 28, 2005
JEC 3117- 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Refreshments at 3:30 p.m.

Secure multi-party computation (MPC, for short) is a powerful cryptographic concept which lets mutually distrusting parties collaborate without compromising their private information (beyond what is required by the functionality for which they collaborate). The functionality allowed in such a collaboration is so general that MPC subsumes virtually all other cryptographic tasks. Much of the two and a half decades of cryptographic research can be seen as striving towards the Holy Grail of realizing secure MPC in the most challenging scenario in which the parties carry out multiple tasks concurrently, the entire network is adversarially controlled and there are no universally trusted entities. In this talk we show how to achieve this.

Prior work had failed to achieve this goal for a good reason: it was proven to be impossible under the previously used framework for security definitions. In this talk, we introduce a new definitional framework which meets the same high standards of security, but which allows us to achieve the goal described above. This answers a central open question in cryptography, and also opens up the possibility of designing and analyzing practical and efficient protocols for secure MPC.

Bio: Manoj Prabhakaran is finishing his Ph.D. at Princeton University under the supervision of Professor Amit Sahai, and is supported by an IBM Ph.D. Fellowship. His research interests are in Theoretical Computer Science, especially Cryptography. He graduated in 2000 with the Institute Gold Medal and a Bachelor of Technology degree in Computer Science and Engineering, from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.

Last updated: March 21, 2005