April 27, 2011: Distinguished Lecturer Series - Joan Feigenbaum: "The DISSENT Approach to Anonymous, Interactive Communication on the Internet"

The University of Illinois at Chicago

Department of Computer Science

2010-2011 Distinguished Lecturer Series

The DISSENT Approach to Anonymous, Interactive Communication on the Internet

Joan Feigenbaum
Yale University
Thursday, April 28, 2011
11:00 a.m., Room 1000 SEO


Current anonymous-communication protocols based on onion routing (OR) suffer three basic flaws: (1) OR?s security properties are largely only informally understood and not readily quantifiable; (2) OR inherently trades security for latency due to serialized relaying; and (3) anonymous disruptors can not only deny service but also defeat anonymity through adaptive denial-of-service (DoS) attacks. Existing dining-cryptographers (DC) approaches offer strong resistance to traffic analysis but are difficult to scale and just as vulnerable to disruption as OR. In this talk, we present ongoing work on DISSENT, the first practical anonymous-messaging protocol offering provable anonymity, strong protection against traffic analysis, and provable resistance to anonymous disruption.

Although the first version of DISSENT is suited only to non-interactive anonymous communication within small groups, we believe it points toward a new approach to highly interactive, large-scale anonymous communication at large scales that offers security and efficiency properties fundamentally stronger than those of OR. This is joint work with Bryan Ford, Henry Corrigan-Gibbs, Vitaly Shmatikov, and Shu-chun Weng.

Brief Bio:

Joan Feigenbaum is the Grace Murray Hopper Professor of Computer Science at Yale. She received an A.B. in Mathematics from Harvard and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford. Between finishing her Ph.D. in 1986 and starting at Yale in 2000, she was with AT&T, where she established a research group in the then-emerging area of algorithmics for massive data sets at the AT&T Shannon Laboratory in Florham Park, NJ and served as manager of the group for two years. Her research interests include Internet algorithmics, security and privacy, massive-data-set algorithmics, and the interplay of economics and computation. She has an extensive record of distinguished service to the scientific community, including three years on the Board of Directors of IMA and numerous leadership roles in DIMACS over the roughly 20 years of its existence (e.g., membership in the Steering Committees of DIMACS Special Foci on Computation and the Socio-Economic Sciences, Next-Generation Networks, Massive Data Sets, and Logic and Algorithms). Well known for her ability to establish and explicate research priorities, she has given numerous high-profile, direction-setting lectures (ranging over time and scope from ?Security and Privacy in the Information Economy? at the 1997 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing through ?Accountability in International Data Exchange? at the 2010 NSF-IncoTrust Workshop) and has served as the Yale PI on multi-university, federally funded projects (including the NSF-funded PORTIA project on sensitive data and the ONR-funded SPYCE project on diffuse computing). Professor Feigenbaum is a Fellow of the ACM and was an invited speaker at the 1998 International Congress of Mathematicians.

Host: Bhaskar DasGupta

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