Section: Overall Objectives
Presentation and scientific foundations
The research work within the project-team is mostly devoted to the design and analysis of cryptographic algorithms, especially through the study of the involved discrete structures. This work is essential since the current situation of cryptography is rather fragile: many cryptographic protocols are now known whose security can be formally proved assuming that the involved cryptographic primitives are ideal (random oracle model, ideal cipher model,...). However, the security of the available primitives has been so much threatened by the recent progress in cryptanalysis that only a few stream ciphers and hash functions are nowadays considered to be secure. In other words, there is usually no concrete algorithm available to instantiate the ideal “black boxes” used in these protocols!
In this context, our research work focuses on both families of cryptographic primitives, symmetric and asymmetric primitives. More precisely, our domain in cryptology includes the analysis and the design of symmetric algorithms (a.k.a. secret-key algorithms), and also the study of the public-key algorithms based on hard problems coming from coding theory. Moreover, our approach on the previous problems relies on a competence whose impact is much wider than cryptology. Our tools come from information theory, discrete mathematics, probabilities, algorithmics... Most of our work mix fundamental aspects (study of mathematical objects) and practical aspects (cryptanalysis, design of algorithms, implementations). Our research is mainly driven by the belief that discrete mathematics and algorithmics of finite structures form the scientific core of (algorithmic) data protection.