Silent Leadership in Cryptography

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24 July 2010

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Elisabeth Oswald has been awarded a prestigous Leadership Fellowship by the EPSRC. Over the next five years Elisabeth will be building a team to continue her work in the theoretical and practical aspects of side channel analysis in a project called SILENT.

Cryptology has developed out of mathematics and theoretical computer science and is often discussed in purely theoretical and abstract terms. However cryptographic algorithms are a vital part of modern communication systems. Clearly, this demands additional practical considerations. This realisation has come slowly but steadily over the last decade and lead to a whole new field in cryptography called side channel analysis. Side channels silently leak information about confidential data (e.g. cryptographic keys, user data, etc.) and are hence a serious threat to the trustworthiness of information systems.

During her fellowship Elisabeth intends to establish a centre of excellence, in which she aims to scrutinize the theory of side channels, the methods used to analyse and exploit them, and the impact of such information leakage on systems used by the wider public.