TRVE Data update — Sept/Oct 2016
Hello TRVE Data supporters,
Sorry for the lack of an update last month. Here's what we've been up to in September and October.
Diana and Martin presented an introduction to end-to-end encryption protocols at the Strange Loop conference in St Louis, and repeated the talk in Cambridge. We illustrated network communication and man-in-the-middle attacks by passing pieces of cardboard back and forth on the stage -- a visualisation that went down well with the audience.
Alastair and Martin have been working together with Dominic Mulligan and Victor Gomes, also researchers in Cambridge, on formalising our JSON CRDT definition using the Isabelle proof assistant. We are converting the hand-written convergence proof in our paper into a machine-checkable proof, and hope to use the formalisation as a basis for further improving the datatype in future.
Stephan has returned from his internship at a startup in London, and is back to working on Tor. He is analysing the network packets sent and received by Tor in order to understand how to reduce its cellular data and battery use on mobile devices, with a view towards maintaining a Tor hidden service in the background.
Diana has been working on a survey paper analysing and comparing various protocols and methods of identity verification -- that is, knowing that you have the right public key for the person you're trying to communicate with. It's a tricky area with lots of trade-offs and no obvious right answers. The X.509 public key infrastructure used by TLS is not the last word in identity verification!
Our interns, Laszlo and James, wrapped up their work with us and have started their third year of undergraduate study. They produced some excellent work during the summer, which we plan to continue building upon and publish over the coming months.
Alastair and Martin presented our progress from the first year of the TRVE project to Boeing management (who are funding part of the project). Feedback was positive. We still have one year to go on this grant, and are beginning to explore options for funding work on the project beyond that.
As the university term has started again, we've all been involved with teaching, which has taken some of our time. But we continue pressing ahead with research as well, and exploring several potential future collaborations.
Until next time, Martin