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Joris Rinoldo - 25/09/2018

Three Inria researchers have received the 39th Symposium on Security and Privacy “Distinguished Paper Award”

Vincent, Steve and Itsaka received the Distinguished Paper Award during the 39th IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, which took place in San Francisco from 21-23 May.

Within the Pesto team Vincent Cheval, Inria researcher, Steve Kremer, Inria research director and head of the team - a joint team between Inria and the Lorraine Research Laboratory for Computer Science and its Applications (Loria) - and Itsaka Rakotonirina, Inria PhD student, work on the security of cryptographic protocols. These protocols are programs that secure our transactions on the Internet and, more generally, our communications. “For example, when I buy something using my bank card, I want to be sure that its number is not circulating unencrypted and that I am definitely connected to the website I expect”, Steve explains. To obtain such guarantees, cryptographic tools like encryption or electronic signatures are used in order to guarantee certain properties such as confidentiality or authentication.

 The prize-winning work focuses on the automatic analysis of cryptographic protocols, and more specifically the DEEPSEC tool. Unlike most verification tools, DEEPSEC enables the verification of privacy properties such as anonymity or untraceability. The tool puts in place algorithms capable of automatically proving the absence of errors in a security protocol's structure or, where necessary, revealing breaches. Another originality of the work is that they have managed to quantify the quality of their solution: do we have the best possible solution? In actual fact, a mathematical tool exists that enables the quantification of the inherent difficulty of a problem: computational complexity. For the problem studied, they have therefore been able to demonstrate that there were no analytical methods significantly more effective than DEEPSEC.