Report: Lightweight Crypto Day 2016

At the end of March, I attended Technion’s Lightweight Crypto Day 2016 in Haifa, Israel. There’s so much technical stuff happening in Haifa — from startups to Fortune 500 presence. In my opinion, lightweight crypto is kind of a buzz word in our field but what I do like about the topic is, from the design side, it encourages stripping down to minimal components, which in turn can enable new, interesting attacks — enabling progress in cryptanalytic techniques.


It was a good chance to make new connections to folks in Israel that I know by name and have read their work, and also catch up with old colleagues. The program was pretty packed with content — cherry picking some of my favorites:

  • Roberto Avanzi (Qualcomm, Germany) spoke about the industry view of lightweight crypto design. Roberto and I were co-workers when I was a Staff Engineer at Qualcomm. He’s a really good speaker and brilliant mathematician. And you should hear him on the piano! Shameless plug: he’s co-chair of SAC 2016.
  • Shay Gueron (University of Haifa, Israel) spoke about hardware optimization techniques for AES. Shay has a hand in a lot of Intel security designs, both hardware and software. This is a good example of Shay’s work.
  • Daniel Genkin (Technion, Israel) spoke about side-channel attacks measuring electromagnetic emanations with low cost hardware. The demo of EM acquisition from an iPhone was awesome. I’ve read a lot of Daniel’s stuff — here’s a good start.

In the following days, I participated in a COST Action IC1403 Cryptacus workshop, where I was invited to speak about software-based side-channel attacks. This Action provides funding for Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) within Europe, so if you are interested in mobility, stop by my office and speak to me!

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