SHARCS - Special-purpose Hardware for Attacking Cryptographic Systems

SHARCS 2012 will take place 17–18 March 2012 in Washington, DC, USA, immediately before FSE 2012 and the Third SHA-3 Candidate Conference. More details can be found on the SHARCS 2012 page.

SHARCS 2012 is the fifth workshop dedicated to the challenging subject of special-purpose cryptanalytical devices. This field is still a very young one (at least outside government agencies). In addition to key search machines à la Deep Crack and COPACOBANA, we are in particular interested in the interaction between cryptanalytical algorithms and computer hardware and in exploiting alternative computation platforms such as Playstation-3 and graphics processing units which offer interesting price/performance tradeoffs. Much work in this area remains to be done including, for instance, special purpose hardware crackers for:

In addition to algorithmic issues, it is also the workshop's goal to make advances in computer hardware issues such as:

There are three main objectives for SHARCS:

  1. to determine whether special purpose hardware poses a real threat for today's cryptographic algorithms,
  2. to determine reliable security estimates and explicit strength comparisons for today's "best-practice" algorithms (i.e., how long are RSA1024 or ECC160 "secure"; how many bits of security does one really get when using RSA2048) and
  3. to advance the knowledge in cryptanalysis in general.
Since this is an intrinsically interdisciplinary subject, it is hoped that the workshop can bring together researchers with different backgrounds for discussing and advancing this exciting field. At SHARCS, submitted contributions are presented together with invited talks from world leading experts.

Past SHARCS workshops:

The first workshop took place 2005 in Paris, SHARCS'06 took place in Cologne, SHARCS'07 took place in Vienna, and SHARCS'09 took place in Lausanne. All four workshops attracted participants from industry, academia and government organizations.

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