Level: Technical

The talk will discuss how ‘point addition’ works and how that leads to the Discrete Logarithm Problem of Elliptic Curves, then how the Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman algorithm is used, for example in HTTPS – and how you can actually find it using Wireshark. It will explain how to use ECC for digital signatures and why you don’t want to be like Sony when it comes to implementing them. It will discuss how ECC was used in an infamous random number generator and, finally, will take a brief look at the use of elliptic curves in post-quantum algorithms.

The goal of this talk is to keep things simple and understandable and no knowledge of maths is assumed. The talk won’t make anyone an expert on ECC — that would take years of study. But it might help one understand the context a bit better when you come across them in your research. And hopefully, it will also be a little bit fun.

NB the talk focuses on technical details, so I’ve listed it as ‘Technical’, but it explicitly doesn’t require any technical background.

Martijn Grooten is a lapsed mathematician who by accident ended up working in security more than a decade ago. He is a conference organizer, product tester, paper editor, researcher, blogger and tweeter with a focus on malware, spam and threat intelligence and a weak spot for cryptography.


[Slides (PDF)] [Recording (MP4)]

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