Keeping Secrets On Remote Machines

Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 from 2:30 – 3:15pm in B202/203


Conventional wisdom says that using the cloud means giving up privacy and control. But maybe crypto is actually literally magic and we can have our cake and eat it too? We're mostly not there yet, but let's talk about some of the ways that we're getting close.


All those shiny cloud services sound tempting, but unfortunately they might mean giving up your private information to someone else. But with modern hardware and crypto, you can have your cake and eat it, too. How does searchable encryption work? What can oblivious RAM protect you from? Where do secure enclaves like Intel SGX shine, and where do they fail? We’ll give an overview of how the latest research and products work, how experimental they are, and what they might be used for.


crypto, encryption, cloud, search, ORAM, enclaves

Speaking experience

Erica has given workshops and talks on topics such as building usable tools, Bitcoin, and programming fundamentals.


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    Erica Portnoy

    Electronic Frontier Foundation


    Erica is a Staff Technologist at EFF building Certbot, the web’s https-enabling robot buddy. She earned her BSE in computer science at Princeton, where she researched oblivious computation for messaging privacy and took two different classes where she had to watch Star Trek for homework. Upon graduating, she protected authentication tokens in secure enclaves and experimented with searchable encryption. She likes dogs, the pouring rain, and being right.