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Purdue University - Discovery Park
Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security

Sphinx: A Compact and Provably Secure Mix Format

Ian Goldberg - University of Waterloo

Aug 26, 2009

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Abstract

Mix networks, originally proposed in 1981, provide a way for Internet
users to send messages--such as email, blog posts, or tweets--without
automatically revealing their identities or their locations. In this
talk, we will describe Sphinx, a cryptographic message format used to
relay anonymized messages within a mix network. It is the first scheme
to support a full set of security features: compactness, efficiency,
provable security, indistinguishable replies, hiding the path length and
relay position, as well as providing unlinkability for each leg of the
message's journey over the network. We will compare Sphinx to other mix
formats, and will also briefly outline Sphinx's security reduction
proof.

About the Speaker

Ian Goldberg is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the
University of Waterloo, where he is a founding member of the
Cryptography, Security, and Privacy (CrySP) research group. He holds a
Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, where he discovered
serious weaknesses in a number of widely deployed security systems,
including those used by cellular phones and wireless networks. He also
studied electronic cash, as well as systems for protecting the personal
privacy of Internet users; this led to his role as Chief Scientist at
Zero-Knowledge Systems (now known as Radialpoint). His research
currently focusses on developing usable and useful technologies to help
Internet users maintain their security and privacy.

Unless otherwise noted, the security seminar is held on Wednesdays at 4:30P.M. STEW G52, West Lafayette Campus. More information...

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