Cesar Pereida Garcia wins the Finnish Information Security Association’s Master’s thesis competition

10.11.2016

Pereida Garcia and co-authors discovered attacks against widely used cryptographic libraries.

Cesar Pereida Garcia was the winner of this year's FISA national thesis competition in the master's thesis series with his thesis "Cache-Timing Techniques: Exploiting the DSA Algorithm". In his thesis, Pereida Garcia reported how they can attack widely used software to learn secret keys used by victims. He also showed how to fix the vulnerabilities that made the attacks possible.

"Last month Pereida Garcia presented his work at ACM Conference on Computer and Communication Security (ACM CCS), the premier international security research conference. This is the first time ever that an MSc student from Finland had a research paper accepted to a top tier security conference like ACM CCS,” tells professor N. Asokan from the Department of Computer Science.

Pereida Garcia explains the attacks on the video:

“Fixing the code was straightforward once the software defect was detected,” says Pereida Garcia.

“Pereida Garcia's Master's thesis responds to actual security vulnerabilities. In addition it has enhanced data security in a very concrete way,” tells Antti Pirinen from the Finnish Information Security Association.

Pereida Garcia was part of the Erasmus Mundus NordSecMob Master’s Programme and supervised by N. Asokan at the Department of Computer Science, Aalto University. The project is also supported by TEKES Cyber Trust. Pereida Garcia discovered the attack under the instruction of Billy Brumley, Tampere University of Technology, and in collaboration with Yuval Yarom, The University of Adelaide and NICTA.

More information:

News article

Thesis

ACM CCS paper

Finnish Information Security Association