Applied Cryptography – Notes from Kenny’s inaugural lecture at ETH

Struge Hut - Paklenica National Park, Croatia

I recently watched Kenny Paterson’s Inaugural Lecture at the ETH University in Zurich – here are some notes I made.

You can watch the 25 minutes video here. My notes are:

  • Caesar cipher was probably quite secure back in the old days since people could hardly read & write – so it all depends on the threat model, which was different 2000 years ago. This is interesting since the definition of an “insecure cipher” needs to put into the context of society as well: back then, who was able to read/write? today – what assets do we want to protect as society?
  • Today: People get killed based on meta data – specifically with the increase of encryption for core content we need to keep that in mind
  • Politics and Crypto have intersections
  • Focus on 3 models: data at rest, in computation and in transit
  • Don’t roll your own crypto but employ crypto folks in case crypto is a core business asset for you –> use existing libs, use existing design patterns,  seek external advise if needed
  • Crypto solely shifts the problem from encryption to key management – so true, can already be observed in the real world scenarios

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