AISW-NetSec Keynote Speaker
Yvo Desmedt

University College London

A Secure Internet with Hacked Routers in an Untrusted Network


Most successful attacks that occur today against computer networks are targeted against the computers connected to the network, but not against the routers.

At the BlackHat 2005 conference it was shown that potential attacks against routers are far from hypothetical. Current TCP/IP protocols (even including IPSEC) do not have the resilience to deal with routers taken over by the adversary. Evidently, if the adversary can control all nodes (routers) in the network, no solution exists. So, we deal with a limited adversary.

There are two main issues:

  1. Before routers can forward data, they need to find the network graph.
  2. If the routers know the network, they can forward data.

Related to the first issue, current implementations can only deal with routers that are shut down, but not with more sophisticated hackers.

Related to the second issue, one needs to deal with different scenarios. For example, the type of networks could be point-to-point or broadcast/multicast.

We survey the research done in the area of how to communicate reliably and/or privately in the presence of different types of adversaries.


Yvo Desmedt received his Ph.D. (Summa cum Laude) from the University of Leuven, Belgium (1984). He is presently the BT Chair of Information Security at University College London, Department of Computer Science, UK. He is also a courtesy professor at Florida State University.

His interests include cryptography, network security and computer security. He has authored more than 150 papers in international conferences and journals. He was program chair of PKC (Public Key Cryptography) 2003, the 2002 ACM Workshop on Scientific Aspects of Cyber Terrorism and Crypto '94 and Co-Program Chair of the 4th International Workshop on Cryptology and Network Security (2005).

He (jointly with Prof. Cox) is editor-in-chief of the IEE Proceedings of Information Security. He is an editor of the Journal of Computer Security and of Information Processing Letters.

Yvo Desmedt is ranked in the top 5 most prolific authors (out of 1245) in Crypto/Eurocrypt. He has given invited lectures at several conferences and workshop in 5 different continents and more than 150 invited lectures for industry and academia.

He is a recipient of the Society of Worldwide Inter-bank Funds Transfer (SWIFT) award.

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