Luis Brandão Presents Paper at Asiacrypt 2013


foto_lb  Luís Brandão, dual degree Ph.D. candidate in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), recently presented the paper “Secure Two-Party Computation with Reusable Bit-Commitments, via a Cut-and-Choose with Forge-and-Lose Technique” at Asiacrypt 2013, the 19th Annual International Conference on the Theory and Application of Cryptology and Information Security, held in India, on December 1 to 5, 2013.
 
Asiacrypt is one of the three flagship annual conferences in cryptology promoted by the International Association for Cryptology Research. “Having a paper accepted here promotes a good visibility of the results to other researchers in the area,” stated Luís Brandão,” adding that “it is also a personal milestone in my Ph.D. path, representing a validation of research that I've been doing over the past two years.” The paper “deals with the problem of ‘secure two-party computation,’ where two distrustful parties decide to compute a function of their combined input, but without revealing the input to one another,” explained the Ph.D. candidate. This paper describes a new protocol “with significant improvements in efficiency and applicability, within a particular state-of-the-art approach of solving the problem,” he stressed, adding that “the protocol is secure even if any of the parties is ‘malicious’.”
 
The ability to achieve efficient “secure computation” – the focus of Luís Brandão´s research – could become increasingly useful in society, “allowing entities to have a fine-grained control of the information that they leak when making interactions that depend on sensitive data, while at the same time reducing or avoiding the need to place trust in (corruptible or expensive) third parties” the student explained. "’Secure computation’ can be seen as a (cryptographic) tool with the potential to resolve some conflicts between privacy and utility of sharing information,” he added, “even though at first sight this possibility may seem paradoxical or counter-intuitive.” For example, “two hospitals could jointly compute some statistic about their combined private databases, in order to learn something that may be helpful for medical decisions, without having to share the databases between themselves or anyone else."
 
Luís Brandão feels that the recent results will be useful for further research carried out by the community. For his future research, he expects to achieve follow-up results in this area and to have the opportunity to collaborate with cryptographers from around the world.
 
Passionate by cryptography, Luís Brandão is enrolled at the Faculdade de Ciências of the Universidade de Lisboa (FCUL) and at Carnegie Mellon University, in the scope of the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program, funded by the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia.  

December 2013

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The paper is available online here (extended abstract) and here (full version).