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Coding Theory and Cryptology (CC)

Research activities

The most up-to-date information can be found on the homepages of the researchers of this group, see Staff. Here is a snapshot report from mid 2012.

Hash functions The MD5 hash function is no longer supported as a cryptographic hash function. This result is largely due to the achievement of de Weger and coauthors on finding meaningful collisions and creating a fake certificate that passes all tests for secure sites.

Curve-based cryptography Lange (and her students) improved the complexity of pairings for Edwards curves and general elliptic curves. To make elliptic curves easier to use they investigated particularly efficient curves and implemented them in a ready-to-use library (called NaCl); this research led to the most efficient signature scheme at the 128-bit security level. On the destructive side the team has improved the Pollard rho method and is running an attack against the ECC2K-130 challenge problem.

Applications of cryptography Schoenmakers is expert on cryptographic protocols for electronic voting, electronic payment, and secure computation. In Collusion Resistant Traitor Tracing optimality results for symmetric Tardos schemes have been found, and new dynamic traitor tracing schemes have been designed. A framework for formal modeling of privacy in Identity Management Systems has been developed.

Coding theory Van Asch studied matrix-product codes over finite chain rings, a work which has subsequently been extended by two different international groups. Pellikaan and Jurrius performed research on the extended and generalized weight enumerator of a code and its relation with the Tutte polynomial of a matroid. Pellikaan is a member of the COST action on Random Network Coding and Designs over GF(q).

Code-based cryptography combines the expertise in this group. The first improvement in the cost exponent for attacking code-based cryptography since 1989 was obtained by Bernstein, Lange, and Peters in 2011. While being an important milestone, their attack does not completely break code-based cryptography. In other works they proposed more efficient and more secure codes for use in cryptography. The representation of a very strong algebraic geometry code is unique up to equivalence . This has consequences for the use of these codes in code based public key crypto systems. Pellikaan examined the use of error-correcting pairs for public-key cryptosystems.

Last modified: 2013.11.22