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Advanced Theory of Secure Messaging

Millions of users benefit from modern secure messaging apps. Since recent years, these messaging apps can offer much stronger security properties than they ever did before, for example using the Signal protocol library (as used by WhatsApp, Signal's app, and Facebook's secret conversations) and others.

In this seminar, we will explore some of the theory behind the design of these protocols through a selection of relevant research papers in this area, which is a highly active current research direction. This will include papers on the novel security properties met by these protocols, the subtle edge cases of security in group messaging, as well as recent works that show the achieved security might be lower than expected.

Most (but not all) of the papers are technical, and include security models and proofs; however, for the presentations, understanding the proofs will not be mandatory. Having attended advanced cryptography or protocol analysis lectures can be beneficial, but is not strictly required.

More background on our research group can be found here:

Requirements: Students should have completed the core Security or core Cryptography lectures, ideally both.

Mode: the intent is to have the seminar physical (offline) only; changing Covid regulations and trends may lead to different decisions later.

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