Charles V. Schaefer, Jr. School of Engineering and Science
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Online banking and e-commerce depend on public key cryptography to safeguard sensitive financial information, but there is no proof that the systems in use today are secure. The situation is the same with respect to the use of public key cryptography, in the form of digital signature protocols, to guarantee the integrity of online software updates.

Modern public key systems are based on underlying computational problems which are required to be difficult to solve without the secret key. The security of the widely used RSA system, for example, depends on the difficulty of factoring certain kinds of integers without knowing the factors in advance (and on a host of other other considerations as well). There is heuristic evidence that these integers are indeed difficult to factor, but as yet there is no mathematical proof. Similar considerations apply to other public key systems.

The mission of the Algebraic Cryptography Center (ACC) is to use both heuristic and theoretical techniques to gain insight into mathematical problems connected with the foundations of cryptography and cybersecurity. Our research objectives include

Our main research themes are

  • Cryptanalysis of public key cryptosystems including development of a software for testing protocols;
  • Indentification of computational problems which can be proved suitable for use as cryptographic primitives;
  • Development of relevant complexity measures.

The ACC encourages the participation of colleagues at Stevens and elsewhere. Toward that end we have a robust visitors program, and we support seminars, workshops, and conference.

The ACC is located in Room 380 in the Kidde Building on the Stevens campus.