Groundbreaking Blockchain Research to Feature at International Financial Cryptography Conference

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Leading blockchain figures to attend event on use of cryptographyin finance and data security

Sliema,Malta — April 3, 2017 — Prominent academics, researchersand developers in cyber security will arrive in Malta this week for the mostimportant annual conference on the use of cryptography in financial andcommercial security.

New researchon blockchain, Bitcoin, data security and privacy will be presented at theweek-long event, which focuses on the security of vital systems – from financeand banking to the Internet to air travel – and ensuring they are resistant tohackers. The event is the 21st annual Financial Cryptography and Data Securityconference and will be held at the Palace Hotel in Sliema, Malta, from April3-7, 2017.

The goal ofthe conference is to bring security and cryptography researchers andpractitioners together with economists, bankers, implementers andpolicy-makers. The program features talks, academic presentations, technicaldemonstrations and panel discussions. The session on Bitcoin and blockchainwill be held on Tuesday.

Attendeesinclude Adam Back, CEO of Blockstream; Emin Gün Sirer of Cornell University;Vitalik Buterin of Ethereum; Charles Hoskinson, CEO of IOHK, and Silvio Micali,Turing Prize winner and cryptography pioneer, who will deliver the keynoteaddress on Monday. The organizer of the program is Aggelos Kiayias, Chair ofCyber Security and privacy at the University of Edinburgh and director of itsBlockchain Technology Laboratory.

Notableresearch to be presented includes new papers showing:

How hackers can exploit a previously undiscoveredvulnerability in aircraft communications and interfere with the control ofairplanes by deciphering the signals sent between the plane and control towers.These findings have prompted conversations with authorities to discuss how tocombat this risk, especially given the omnipresent threat of terrorism aroundthe globe. (Economy Class Crypto: Exploring Weak Cipher Usage in AvionicCommunications via ACARS)

An evaluation of the cryptography of apps from the top15 consumer banks. Security flaws in popular banking apps from the biggest UKbanks make them an easy target for phishing and other attacks. With 11 millionlogins to UK banking apps each day, the findings from the researchers at theUniversity of Birmingham highlight a need for banks to promptly undertake athorough review of their security. (Why Banker Bob (still) Can’t GetTLS Right: A Security Analysis of TLS in Leading UK Banking Apps)

How do you know people on the Internet are who they saythey are? Researchers have combined principles of game theory with Bitcoin tocreate a system that vouches for individuals’ reputations so you know how muchyou can trust them. This reputation verification works without the need for thestars and reviews you see on centralized platforms. (Trust IsRisk: A Decentralized Financial Trust Platform)

The first decentralized voting system to ensure maximumprivacy for voters by avoiding using a third party to count the votes and usinga self-executing smart contract to do it instead. The execution of the protocolis enforced using the consensus mechanism that also secures the Ethereumblockchain. (A Smart Contract for Boardroom Voting with Maximum Voter Privacy)

How to buy physical goods using Bitcoin or othercryptocurrencies. In practice a third-party escrow service is used to offer thebuyer and seller security over the transactions. But there are privacy andsecurity issues with this. These new ideas offer a way around that. (Escrow protocolsfor cryptocurrencies: How to buy physical goods using Bitcoin)

“Theconference is a unique opportunity for world leading researchers incryptography, data security and privacy to come together. The findingspresented in the conference will influence best practices and contribute to newstandards for cyber security in the information technology industry,” saysProfessor Aggelos Kiayias, Program chair of the conference, who is Chair inCyber Security and Privacy at the University of Edinburgh, and Chief Scientistat IOHK.