Welcome to the Cryptographic Systems Group!

The Cryptographic Systems (CrypSys) research group was established in August 2012 at the Cluster of Excellence on "Multimodal Computing and Interaction" (MMCI) in Saarland University.

Our research focuses on developing (provably secure) cryptographic systems for privacy, accountability, and trust. Our research aims at bridging the gap between the current cryptographic research and systems research.

The CrypSys group is headed by Aniket Kate, and is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) through the Cluster of Excellence on MMCI.

Research Highlights

[Privacy-enhancing and Censorship-circumvention Technologies]
We design and analyze efficient, provably secure cryptographic solutions for anonymity networks (e.g., Tor) and privacy in the emerging scenarios (e.g., online advertising) over the Internet. Recently, we are also pursuing the topics of accountability with anonymity, and censorship-circumventing communication.

[Crypto-currencies and Credit Networks]
Over last five years we are observing an unprecedented and rather surprising growth of online, decentralized crypto-currencies and payment networks; despite a few major hiccups, market capitalizations of Bitcoin and its competitor currency networks are increasing tremendously. Many now believe that the concept of decentralized crypto-currencies (e.g., Bitcoin) and payment networks (e.g., Ripple) is here to stay.
In our work, we not only focus on improving security, privacy, and reliability of these systems, but also explore utility of the decentralized payment technologies to other cryptography, security, and privacy scenarios.

[Establishing Cryptographic Trust]
In cryptographic systems, bootstrapping and managing cryptographic keys presents a key challenge, which is generally solved by a trust assumption. The distributed key generation (DKG) primitive mitigates this challenge by deriving cryptographic trust in a distributed manner.
We have developed a practical yet provably secure DKG system for use over the Internet [Our DKG webpage], and have been working on its application to various security and privacy systems ranging from DHTs to password authentication.

[Minimal Trusted Hardware]
Using a minimal trusted hardware such as trusted counter (TrInc), we have broken the well-known resiliency (or replication) lower-bounds for multiparty computation (MPC) and other distributed computing primitives. We are currently designing efficient MPC and distributed computing protocols for the same, and implementing those using the prevalent TPM-based devices.
We also actively work on trusted hardware-based private information retrieval (PIR) constructions.