Real World Cryptography Workshop 2015

I attended RWC 7-9 January in London.

Before I forget, my visit was tied to ICT COST Action IC1306 Cryptography for Secure Digital Interaction. We had a Management Committee meeting where I’m one of the representatives for Finland. This Action provides funding for Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM) to foster international collaboration within Europe, so if you are interested in crypto and mobility please come talk to me.

The venue was London School of Economics. Turns out I’m in this pic on Twitter — brown hoodie, bottom middle:

It was the largest crypto conference I’ve ever been to. I’m bad at estimating, but I’ll guess 200-400 attendees. I got to catch up with lots of old colleagues and took in some good talks. There were so many well-known speakers it’s difficult to choose, but I’ll throw my picks out there:

  • Alec Muffett spoke about password hashing at Facebook. I thought it was the perfect talk for RWC and highlighted practical issues with managing huge user bases. Basically a password hashing scheme evolves over the years along with the service and migrating is tricky. Facebook has an onion approach so they can migrate offline. I loved that the first question from the audience was along the lines of “why can’t you just throw it out and use a new scheme?” That was the whole point of the talk, dude — you can’t force a bazillion users to all log back in so you can migrate.
  • Doug Stebila spoke about a PQ scheme and plans for a TLS cipher suite. I liked it because I usually fall asleep during the first 5 minutes of PQ talks — not this time. Doug is a great speaker and really had a down-to-earth talk.

But yea, there were a ton of talks and most are online so check ’em out! Looking forward to going back next year ūüôā

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