ECC2013

The 2013 edition of ECC took place in Leuven, Belgium. It started with a three day summer school from September 11 to 13 and was followed by the main workshop from September 16 to 18.

The summer school consisted of a total of 12 lectures. As in previous years these lectures provide the necessary background required to follow the main workshop. They covered topics ranging from the basics of elliptic-curve cryptography through implementation techniques and algorithms for point counting and solving the ECDLP to mathematical background of curves, maps between curves and complex multiplication. All slides are available online [1].

The program of the main event was, once again, filled with quality talks by several of the main players of the community, covering a broad spectrum of ECC-related topics, from mathematical and theoretical aspects to more applied and concrete implementation results. Among these, two major themes were particularly well
represented.

First, with three talks in a row, the most recent developments on the discrete-logarithm problem in small- and medium-characteristic finite fields were given a prominent place in the program, echoing the buzz that has been around this topic since the beginning of the year. First, the new L(1/4) function field sieve variants, along with the latest records over binary fields, were presented by Antoine Joux [2] and by Robert Granger (in a joint work with Faruk Göloğlu, Gary McGuire and Jens Zumbrägel) [3]. And, since good old FFS still is alive and kicking when it comes to prime-extension fields, Pierrick Gaudry gave some details about the current DLP record over GF(2^{809}) [4].

Another important topic this year was real-world crypto. First, a talk on “ECC deployment on Internet” by Google security engineer Emilia Käsper gave us a pretty good insight on the headache-inducing mess that is SSL/TLS out there. Then Kenny Paterson’s review of “TLS Security” [5] proceeded to convince us that TLS was nothing but a dead parrot anyway — or is it just resting?

Last but not least, shout-outs are due to the local organisers, Wouter Castryck and Fré Vercauteren, with particular kudos for the conference poster [6] and the hilarious crypto-themed banquet menu: who would’ve thought a Threefish implementation could be so tasty?

[1] https://www.cosic.esat.kuleuven.be/ecc2013/summer_school.shtml
[2] https://www.cosic.esat.kuleuven.be/ecc2013/files/antoine.pdf
[3] https://www.cosic.esat.kuleuven.be/ecc2013/files/rob.pdf
[4] https://www.cosic.esat.kuleuven.be/ecc2013/files/pierrick.pdf
[5] https://www.cosic.esat.kuleuven.be/ecc2013/files/kenny.pdf
[6] https://www.cosic.esat.kuleuven.be/ecc2013/poster.shtml

— Jérémie Detrey and Peter Schwabe

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