Asiacrypt 2015, Auckland, New Zealand

I am the most biased person to write a review of this event, since I was the general chair. But I thought I would write some comments.

The event began on Sunday November 29 with a Maori welcome ceremony at the University Marae. The conference participants were given a powerful oration (in the Maori language) by the kaikorero Te Aroha Morehu (Ngati Whatua Orakei). Christian Cachin then gave some remarks on behalf of the Manuhiri (visitors) after which I got to Hongi (touch noses) with everyone.

The conference consisted of 3 invited lectures and 64 contributed papers. The first invited talk was by Masa Abe and it was on “Structure-Preserving Cryptography”. This is a branch on pairing-based cryptography, where all objects in a cryptosystem are required to be elements of the same group. The second talk was by Gilles Barthe and it was about “Computer-Aided Cryptography”, which means using automated tools to verify the correctness and security of cryptographic protocols and implementations. The final invited lecture was Phil Rogaway’s IACR Distinguished Lecture on the “Moral Character of Cryptographic Work”. This was a bold and challenging talk, presented with great conviction. A more detailed summary can be found here or by reading Phil’s article on eprint.

Slides of the invited lectures are here. A video of Phil Rogaway’s lecture is also on that page, and audio recordings will be put online eventually.

The rump session was chaired by Nigel Smart. Pierre Karpman gave the funniest talk at the rump session, giving him the great honour of being invited to submit a paper to both the Journal of Cryptology and the Journal of Craptology from the same conference.

The best paper award went to “Improved security proofs in lattice-based cryptography: using the Rényi divergence rather than the statistical distance” by Shi Bai, Adeline Langlois, Tancrède Lepoint, Damien Stehlé and Ron Steinfeld. This paper explains that the Renyi Divergence is a general tool that can be used instead of statistical distance in many security proofs.

The paper of most direct relevance to elliptic curve cryptography was “FourQ: four-dimensional decompositions on a Q-curve over the Mersenne prime”, presented by Craig Costello (joint work with Patrick Longa). The paper reports a very fast implementation of elliptic curve scalar multiplication using a curve over GF( p^2 ) for p = 2^{127} - 1 based on 4-dimensional GLV/GLS arithmetic.

I also enjoyed the talk by Sanjit Chatterjee on “Type 2 Structure-Preserving Signature Schemes Revisited” (joint with Alfred Menezes) which explained how some papers make incorrect claims of efficiency by treating Type 2 pairings too abstractly. Taechan Kim’s paper “Multiple Discrete Logarithm Problems with Auxiliary Inputs” was about using Cheon-type algorithms in the presence of multiple instances of the DLP. Aurore Guillevic’s paper “Computing Individual Discrete Logarithms Faster in GF(p^n) with the NFS-DL Algorithm” was about improving the individual DLP stage for finite field discrete logarithms coming from pairing-based cryptography.

During the free afternoon there was a boat trip to Rangitoto Island (a 600-year old dormant volcano) and a climb to the summit and crater. The conference banquet was held at the Pullman Hotel with entertainment by a troupe of Cook Island drummers and dancers.

Following the conference, on Friday December 4, were two satellite meetings. One, sponsored by Intel, was on real-world crypto. The other was on lattice crypto and multilinear maps (read this blog post for more details of that meeting).

— Steven Galbraith

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