Special-Purpose Hardware for Attacking Cryptographic Systems
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How to contribute:
Call for papers
Accepted papers
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Call for papers

SHARCS 2012 is the fifth workshop dedicated to the challenging subject of special-purpose cryptanalytical devices. This field is still a young one, at least outside government agencies. There are three main objectives for SHARCS:
  • to determine whether special-purpose hardware poses a real threat for today's cryptographic algorithms;
  • to determine reliable security estimates and explicit strength comparisons for today's "best-practice" algorithms (e.g., how long are RSA-1024 or ECC-160 "secure"? how many bits of security does one really get when using RSA-2048?); and
  • to advance knowledge in cryptanalysis in general.
SHARCS covers special-purpose hardware for a wide range of cryptanalytic algorithms, including
  • index-calculus algorithms and other attacks against RSA;
  • Pollard's rho method and other attacks against elliptic-curve cryptography;
  • attacks against code-based and lattice-based cryptography;
  • attacks against multivariate-quadratic cryptography;
  • attacks against specific block and stream ciphers, especially "lightweight" ciphers;
  • attacks against specific hash functions, including SHA-1, SHA-2, and SHA-3 candidates; and
  • algebraic cryptanalysis, SAT solvers, etc.
SHARCS is particularly interested in the interaction between cryptanalytical algorithms and different types of computer hardware, including
  • analog and optical devices;
  • novel VLSI technologies;
  • reconfigurable computers;
  • clusters of standard computers;
  • PlayStation 3 clusters;
  • GPU clusters;
etc. Explorations of price/performance tradeoffs of alternative computation platforms are strongly encouraged. SHARCS also solicits papers on routing protocols and other low-level tools, models and evaluation techniques for special-purpose computing, and lower bounds for physical implementations of cryptanalytic algorithms.

Since this is an intrinsically interdisciplinary subject, it is hoped that the workshop can bring together researchers with different background for discussing and advancing this exciting field. At SHARCS, submitted contributions are presented together with invited talks from world-leading experts.

The submission deadline is 23 January 2012. See the submission procedure for further details regarding submissions.

Special note on side-channel attacks: A side-channel attack usually involves hardware to collect side-channel data, and then computations on that data. SHARCS does not cover the hardware to collect the data, but does cover special-purpose hardware for the computations.

Program-committee members

  • Daniel J. Bernstein, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA (co-chair)
  • Duncan A. Buell, University of South Carolina, USA
  • Kris Gaj, George Mason University, USA (co-chair)
  • Tim Güneysu, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany
  • Tetsuya Izu, Fujitsu Laboratories, Japan
  • Tanja Lange, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, Netherlands
  • Christof Paar, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany
  • Christian Rechberger, Danmarks Tekniske Universitet, Denmark
  • Rainer Steinwandt, Florida Atlantic University, USA
  • Eran Tromer, Tel Aviv University, Israel
  • Ingrid Verbauwhede, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
  • Michael Wiener, Irdeto, Canada
  • Bo-Yin Yang, Academia Sinica, Taiwan


This is version 2012.01.29 of the call.html web page.