How to Encrypt a Credit Card Number: Small-Domain Encryption and the Mathematics of Card Shuffling

Speaker: Scott Yilek, University of St. Thomas

Date & Time:

Tuesday, September 30, 2014
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


Owens Science Center (OWS 250)

Scott Yilek

Abstract: With data breaches at major retailers occurring almost every month, the problem of securing sensitive customer data has significantly increased in importance.  Using encryption to secure credit card numbers and other client information is an obvious, and legally-mandated, choice.  Unfortunately, encrypting short pieces of data like 16 digit credit card numbers or 9 digit social security numbers presents several challenges.  

In this talk, we first give a basic overview of cryptography and encryption, before focusing on the problem of constructing small-domain encryption schemes for securing short pieces of data.  We will then give an overview of some recently proposed solutions, and discuss how analyzing them relates to the mathematics of card shuffling and has connections to Markov chains, graph theory, and linear algebra.

Biographical Information: Scott Yilek is an Assistant Professor in the Computer and Information Sciences Department at the University of St. Thomas.  His research focuses on cryptography and computer security.  He has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, San Diego.

All programs offered by the University of St. Thomas shall be readily accessible to individuals with disabilities. For details, call (651) 962-6315.