Advanced Cryptography—Internet Voting, Cryptocurrency, More
Advanced cryptographic technology can enable new kinds of computing systems: secure computing and storage in the cloud, internet voting systems, cryptographic currencies, and more. Unfortunately, advanced cryptography has not been widely adopted because it tends to be too complex for most software developers to use correctly. Even experts make security-critical mistakes with modern cryptography.
Leading a team of Cornell computer scientists, Andrew C. Myers, Computer Science, is developing a simpler and less error-prone way to build computer systems that use advanced cryptography.
The project explores a new way to put the full power of cryptography in the hands of programmers. Programmers will not design cryptography directly. Instead, they will develop software using a high-level programming language, and the system, called Viaduct, will automatically introduce sophisticated cryptographic mechanisms as needed to make the software secure. Viaduct automatically compiles and applies high-level protocols to primitive cryptographic building blocks, offering formal security guarantees in the form of machine-checkable security proofs. In these and other ways, Viaduct will make security engineering stronger, easier, and cheaper. The team will also make Viaduct open-source and promote it through demos, workshops, and tutorials.