Section: Scientific Foundations
Linking cryptographic and formal approaches
One desirable goal that seemed totally out of reach in 2002 is to relate the Dolev-Yao notion of security, possibly in the algebraic case, to more realistic notions of security as used in the cryptographic community (e.g., IND-CPA and IND-CCA security). The latter define security as resistance to probabilistic polynomial-time attackers, while the Dolev-Yao models overlook any computational constraints. In other words, cryptographic security is about actual computers running attacks, and being unable to gain any significant advantage while interacting with your protocol.
Abadi and Rogaway initiated work in this domain  , dealing with a constrained case of security against passive attackers. The domain has flourished in recent years, and SECSI is taking an active part in it, as part of the ARA SSIA Formacrypt project, whose members include Martín Abadi and Bruno Blanchet. A more recent French-Japanese also continues this research theme. One early paper on this topic is  . Laurent Mazaré, a PhD student of Yassine Lakhnech on these themes, spent 6 months as postdoc at SECSI and worked actively on the connection between formal and computational models in the presence of bilinear maps, an emerging fundamental tool in extensions of Diffie-Hellman-like protocols among others (best paper at WITS'07  ). Other results include the case of soundness of formal methods in the case of adaptive attacks  , soundness and decidability results in a framework meant to deal with off-line guessing attacks, but reaching far beyond  . Recently, Comon-Lundh and Cortier  have shown that the observational equivalence of the applied pi calculus implies computational indistinguishability which has been an open question for several years. Their result implies soundness of properties such as anonymity and strong secrecy modelled in terms of observational equivalence.
Objective 1.3 is quite probably the hottest topic for the years to come as far as verification of cryptographic protocols is concerned.
The thrust here is on more realism . However, the purpose of FormaCrypt, and of SECSI in particular, is to relate cryptographic approaches to mechanizable formal approaches, hence more automation is also sought after in this field.