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CS forum is a seminar series arranged at the CS department – open to everyone free-of-charge.

This talk is for general CS audience.



Yvo Desmedt
Jonsson Distinguished Professor at the University of Texas at Dallas

Host: Professor Emerita Kaisa Nyberg
Time: 14:15 (coffee at 14:00)
Venue: T3, CS building, Konemiehentie 2, Espoo

Using Secure Multiparty Computation to Secure Outsourcing of Computation: What Theoreticians Missed.


Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and other companies have invested heavily in social networks, in cloud computing, and in cloud storage. They depict a great new world in which local in person contacts/friends are being replaced by global virtual ones, local storage of data is being replaced by cloud storage, and so forth. The US government and presidents/provosts of numerous universities have been lured into switching to the use of the cloud.

First, one can wonder how secure these cloud servers are. Second, even though a lot of fundamental/theoretical research on cloud security is extremely exiting, there is no motivation for social networks, cloud storage and cloud computing corporations to implement and incorporate the results. Moreover, in countries such as Japan and the USA, lobbyists dominate the government and Europe’s regulation (such as the need to authorise the use of cookies) is ineffective.

We start this lecture by explaining the rise of cloud storage, cloud computing and social networks as a consequence of a failure in the design of adequate OS (operating systems). We survey some of the solutions proposed to address security problems. Some of these solutions are user-developed ones, which do not require the cooperation of the companies, and might therefore have a better chance of success.

Theoreticians have been pushing the use of secure multiparty computation (MPC) to address the problem of outsourcing computation in a secure way.  A major part of this presentation is focused on analyzing whether MPC is the correct technique for this problem. We identify several problems that have been overlooked in the context of the secure outsourcing of computation.

Short bio:

Yvo Desmedt is the Jonsson Distinguished Professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, a Honorary Professor at University College London, a Fellow of the International Association of Cryptologic Research (IACR) and a Member of the Belgium Royal Academy of Science. He received his Ph.D. (1984, Summa cum Laude) from the University of Leuven, Belgium. He held positions at: Universite de Montreal, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (founding director of the Center for Cryptography, Computer and Network Security), and Florida State University (Director of the Laboratory of Security and Assurance in Information Technology, one of the first 14 NSA Centers of Excellence). He was BT Chair and Chair of Information Communication Technology at University College London.  He has held numerous visiting appointments. He is the Editor-in-Chief of IET Information Security and Chair of the Steering Committees of CANS and ICITS.  He was Program Chair of e.g., Crypto 1994, the ACM Workshop on Scientific Aspects of Cyber Terrorism 2002, and ISC 2013. He has authored over 200 refereed papers, primarily on cryptography, computer security, and network security. He has made important predictions, such as his 1983 technical description how cyber could be used to attack control systems (realized by Stuxnet), and his 1996 prediction hackers will target Certifying Authorities (DigiNotar was targeted in 2011).