The Internet revolution enabled private users to send and receive messages from around the world. Coupled with cryptographic techniques like public key encryption and digital signatures, this gave rise to the development of the World Wide Web, e-commerce, and many other technological innovations that quickly became part of daily life. We are now facing a second revolution in which we are not only changing how we communicate but also how we compute. Increasingly, we send large datasets to untrusted servers and ask them to perform calculations on our behalf. We send personal information from cell phones and GPS units to service providers to outsource computation that we cannot do “on the fly”. These new environments and the new adversarial threats they inspire require new cryptographic techniques and models.
Recent years have seen a concerted research effort among the cryptography, systems, and algorithms communities to address the security challenges brought on by new technological trends such as cloud computing and large-scale data processing applications. Nonetheless, interaction among these diverse communities remains fairly limited. This workshop will bring together researchers from these and other communities, with goals that include: (1) facilitating a dialogue and collaboration between cryptographers and systems researchers to ensure better cryptography applied in better ways for specific application domains; (2) informing cryptographers of emerging challenges brought on by technological trends and practical needs; and (3) informing systems and security researchers of the latest advances in cryptography and emerging cryptographic tools.
The workshop will particularly focus on the themes of integrity and privacy of computing on big data. The value of cloud computing is limited if users cannot rely on the results of the computation. The workshop will address questions of how we can outsource computation to the cloud while ensuring correctness and integrity of the computation, even in instances when not all parties can be trusted. Solutions to this problem build on the cryptographic theory of interactive proofs, which have only recently begun to be developed into actual systems. The workshop will also address privacy: How can we leverage the computational and storage capabilities of the cloud for computation and storage of big data while ensuring privacy of our data? The cryptographic theories of multiparty computation, fully homomorphic encryption, and functional encryption address this problem, but theoretical solutions have largely not been adopted and are not always suitable for practical use. Recently however, there have been a number of implementation and systems projects working towards practical use of these techniques in various specific contexts.
This workshop is a collaboration with the Data Science Institute at Columbia University, where it will be hosted, allowing us to establish interactions with data scientists and systems researchers. In order to maximize interaction and discussion among the different research communities involved, the workshop will include tutorials on cryptographic mechanisms and implemented systems for verifiable computation, fully homomorphic encryption, and functional encryption.