Cryptography, security, and privacy (CrySP)

Research group’s website:

Group members


The Cryptography, Security, and Privacy (CrySP) research group carries out research in a wide variety of topics, from designing cryptographic protocols to the evaluation of their effectiveness and usability in deployed systems. Some examples are:

  • (Distributed) cryptographic protocols. Designing interactive protocols to enable secure communication, such as key agreement protocols, key distribution schemes, secret sharing schemes, identification schemes, broadcast encryption and oblivious transfer.
  • Efficient cryptographic algorithms and their implementation.
  • Designing and analyzing cryptographic primitives such as block and stream ciphers, public-key encryption schemes, signature schemes, message authentication codes, key establishment protocols, and pairing-based cryptography.
  • Cryptographic hash functions. Analyzing the security of iterated design techniques and the random oracle model and constructing families of universal hash functions.
  • Privacy-preserving communications networks. Creating privacy-preserving communications networks with better security, privacy, efficiency, and scalability properties than existing ones.
  • Off-the-record messaging. Improving the user interface, robustness, and group communication abilities of Off-the-Record Messaging, or OTR.
  • Censorship resistance. Designing, developing, and deploying censorship resistance technologies, examining the motivations of the censor and the resister, and analyzing the game-theoretic aspects of their interactions.
  • Private information retrieval. Creating Private Information Retrieval (PIR) protocols that are computationally and communicationally efficient, while also providing for Byzantine robustness.
  • Efficient zero-knowledge proofs. Developing batch techniques for Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs) that make a larger variety of complex ZKPs more efficient; developing a software library that can be easily used by programmers without expertise in ZKPs to prove and verify simple, complex, and batched statements.
  • Security and privacy for smartphone users. Developing security and privacy technologies that allow smartphone users to use mobile apps in a secure and privacy-protecting way.
  • Location privacy. Developing privacy-preserving technologies for users of location-based services.
  • Genomic privacy. Developing privacy-preserving technologies to protect the storage and processing of genomic data.
  • Privacy for (mobile) social networking. Designing privacy-preserving technologies for users of (mobile) online social networking sites.
  • Cryptographic and online voting. Designing and analyzing voting protocols with high usability and voter-verifiable correctness.
  • Response and recovery strategies. Evaluating and designing effective incident response strategies to ensure business continuity.
  • Security assessment and audit. Applying system vulnerability and risk assessment techniques with a particular focus on the financial services and health sectors.
  • Computation over encrypted data and programs. Developing theoretical and practical foundations for secure computation over encrypted data and programs.
  • Cryptocurrencies. Developing and building new cryptocurrencies.

CrySP is part of the Centre For Applied Cryptographic Research (CACR) at the University of Waterloo and collaborates with other groups within the Cheriton School of Computer Science, such as Algorithms and Complexity, Human-Computer Interaction, Systems and Networking, and Data Systems.

CrySP Speakers Series on Privacy

The CrySP Speaker Series on Privacy are perioidic lectures made possible by an anonymous charitable donation in memory of cypherpunks and privacy advocates Len SassamanHugh DanielHal Finney, and Caspar Bowden.

Since 2012, this speaker series has been video recorded. Please visit the CrySP Speaker Series on Privacy for a list of past speakers and videos of the presentations they gave.

YouTube playlist of speaker series talks is also available.