SHARCS 2012 in Washington D.C.


CERG was an organizer of SHARCS 2012 - Special-Purpose Hardware for Attacking Cryptographic Systems workshop held in the Washington Marriott Hotel on March 17-18, 2012. Dr. Kaps served as a general chair of the workshop, and Dr. Gaj was one of the two co-chairs. Graduate students from CERG provided technical and logistic support during the event. This edition of SHARCS had more than 70 participants from 19 countries of 5 continents. The slides of all presentations and the workshop record are posted on the SHARCS 2012 website. An extensive record of the entire series, including all slides and papers from the previous workshops, is available at (3/19/12)

Welcome to the webpage of the Cryptographic Engineering Research Group at George Mason University. Cryptography, from Greek krpto (hidden) and grapho (write), is the science and practice of hiding information. Most Internet users come in contact with cryptography when they go to a secure website of an Internet retailer. Other popular applications are secure e-mail, Internet banking, mobile phones, etc. Cryptography has its roots in mathematics, computer science and engineering. Cryptographic Engineering is concerned with all aspects of implementing cryptographic algorithms in hardware and / or software. This ranges from high performance implementations to ultra-low power implementations of public key and secret key algorithms, fault tolerant implementations, attack resistant implementation and even implementations of attacks.


Cache Based Attacks in the Cloud

Urvi Tank, MS CpE Scholarly Paper
Date: Thursday, February 12th, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Location: Engineering Building, Room 4801

Cache based side channel attacks are considered a powerful attack in cloud and non-cloud environments. Several cache based attacks have been performed on various cryptographic algorithms to retrieve secret data such as key. In a non-cloud or local environment an attacker can retrieve a key either by measuring execution time of the ciphers (time-driven attack), by manipulating the state of caches (access-driven attack), or by obtaining a profile of cache activities (trace-driven attack) on a single-user server. In contrast, in the cloud environment, attacker and victim can have each their own VM however the VMs can share resources. This scenario enables a malicious tenant to steal crypto keys from victims using time or trace driven cache measurement techniques. This paper analyzes the current state of cache based side-channel vulnerabilities in cloud environments, and possible solutions.

Latest News:

Bilal Habib and Ekawat Homsirikamol will speak at ARC 2015

Bilal Habib and Ekawat Homsirikamol ("Ice") will attend the 11th International Symposium on Applied Reconfigurable Computing, ARC 2015, hosted by Ruhr-Universitä,t Bochum on April 13-17, 2015. Bilal will give the talk entitled "Efficient SR-Latch PUF," and Ekawat will give the presentation entitled "Hardware Benchmarking of Cryptographic Algorithms Using High-Level Synthesis Tools: The SHA-3 Contest Case Study." (02/21/2015)

Dr. Kaps will attend DATE 2015

Dr. Kaps will attend the 18th Design Automation and Test in Europe conference, DATE 2015, held in Grenoble, France, on March 9 - 13, 2015. As a part of this conference, he will give an interactive presentation, entitled "Comparison of Multi-purpose Cores of Keccak and AES," based on the paper co-authored with Panasayya Yalla and Ekawat Homsirikamol. (02/21/2015)

Rajesh Velegalati defended his PhD Thesis

Rajesh Velegalati defended his PhD Thesis entitled "Developing an Integrated Environment for Detecting and Mitigating Side-channel and Fault attacks on Hardware Platforms," on February 2nd, 2015. The members of his dissertation committee included Dr. Kaps (Chair), Dr. Gaj, Dr. Nelson, and Dr. Stavrou. (02/21/2015)

Panasayya Yalla defended his PhD Thesis Proposal

Panasayya Yalla defended his PhD Thesis Proposal entitled "Methodology for Developing Lightweight Architectures for FPGAs," on January 9, 2015. The members of his dissertation committee include Dr. Kaps (Chair), Dr. Gaj, Dr. Mark, and Dr. Simon. (02/21/2015)

Dr. Gaj and Dr. Kaps attended SaTCPI 2015

Dr. Gaj and Dr. Kaps attended the National Science Foundation Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) Principal Investigators' Meeting, SaTCPI 2015, held on January 5-7, 2015, in Arlington, VA. (02/21/2015)

Ekawat Homsirikamol spoke at ReConFig 2014

Ekawat Homsirikamol ("Ice") spoke at the 2014 International Conference on ReConFigurable Computing and FPGAs, ReConFig 2014, held in Cancun, Mexico, on December 8-10, 2014. Ekawat gave the talk entitled "Can High-Level Synthesis Compete Against a Hand-Written Code in the Cryptographic Domain? A Case Study." (02/21/2015)

Exchange student from TUM, Germany, visits CERG

Stefan Theil an exchange student from Technische Universität München (TUM) is visiting CERG in the period from November 1, 2014 to April 30, 2015. He is working on his Master's Thesis in the area of countermeasures against side-channel attacks, under the joint supervision of Prof. Sigl, Dr. De Santis, and Dr. Kaps.

Dr. Gaj and Dr. Szczypiorski gave talks at Virginia Tech

On October 8, 2014, Dr. Gaj, Dr. Szczypiorski, Ekawat Homsirikamol, and Malik Umar Sharif visited the Configurable Computing Lab at Virginia Tech, led by Prof. Peter Athanas. During this visit, Dr. Gaj gave the talk entitled "Hardware Benchmarking of Cryptographic Algorithms Using High-Level Synthesis Tools," and Dr. Szczypiorski gave the presentation entitled "Information Hiding in Communication Networks." Additionally, a few of Virginia Tech students and Dr. Kepa, a postdoc in Configurable Computing Lab, gave demos of their recent research projects. (02/21/2015)

Dr. Gaj attended CHES 2015

Dr. Gaj attended the 16th Workshop on Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems, CHES 2014, held in Busan, South Korea, on September 23-26, 2014. As a part of this workshop Dr. Morawiecki from Polish Academy of Sciences and University of Commerce in Kielce, Poland, gave the talk entitled ICEPOLE: High-speed, Hardware-oriented Authenticated Encryption Scheme, co-authored by three members of the CERG team. (02/21/2015)

Dr. Gaj gave an invited talk at Sungkyunkwan University

Dr. Gaj gave an invited talk, entitled "Battles of Cryptographic Algorithms: From AES to CAESAR in Software & Hardware," in the Mathematics Department at the Sungkyunkwan University in Suwon, South Korea, on September 22, 2014. Additionally, on September 21, 2014, he visited Mason Korea, a part of the Global University Campus located in Songdo, near the Incheon International Airport in Korea, shared with the University of Utah, Belgium's Ghent University, and the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook University. (02/21/2015)

Visiting Professor from Warsaw University of Technology, Poland

In September and October 2014, CERG was hosting a distinguished visitor, Dr. Krzysztof Szczypiorski from Warsaw University of Technology in Warsaw, Poland, a world-renowned expert in the areas of steganography, network security, digital forensics, open-source intelligence, and wireless communications. As a part of his visit at GMU, Dr. Szczypiorski gave the ECE Seminar, entitled "Trends in Network Steganography," taught two invited lectures of ECE 646, supervised several student projects, and met with multiple faculty members working in the areas of cyber security, cryptography, steganography, privacy, and computer forensics. The established collaboration is likely to lead to future joint research projects and publications. (02/21/2015)

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Copyright Notice

The research papers below are presented here to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All person copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. In most cases, these works may not be reposted on third party websites, reproduced, distributed, sold, or licensed without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.

  • P. Yalla, H. Ekawat, and J.-P. Kaps, Comparison of multi-purpose cores of Keccak and AES, Design, Automation Test in Europe Conference Exhibition DATE 2015, Mar, 2015 [Bibtex]
  • B. Habib, K. Gaj, and J.-P. Kaps, FPGA PUF based on programmable LUT delays, 2013 Euromicro Conference on Digital System Design (DSD), pages 697–704, 2013 [accepted version, pdf] [Bibtex]
  • R. Velegalati, K. Shah, and J.-P. Kaps, Glitch detection in hardware implementations on FPGAs using delay based sampling techniques, 2013 Euromicro Conference on Digital System Design (DSD), pages 947–954, 2013 [Bibtex]
  • M. Rogawski, K. Gaj, and E. Homsirikamol, A high-speed unified hardware architecture for 128 and 256-bit security levels of AES and the SHA-3 candidate Grostl, Microprocessors and Microsystems, volume 37, number 6-7, pages 572-582, 2013 [Bibtex]
  • R. Velegalati and J.-P. Kaps, Towards a Flexible, Opensource BOard for Side-channel analysis (FOBOS), June, 2013, Cryptographic architectures embedded in reconfigurable devices, CRYPTARCHI 2013 [pdf] [Bibtex]