Dr. Yilek to Give Talk on Encryption at Center for Applied Mathematics

September 24, 2014 / By: UST CISC Department

Dr. Scott Yilek will give a talk at the upcoming UST Center for Applied Mathematics Colloquium on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 from noon to 1pm in OWS 250. The talk will focus on recent research in using encryption to protect sensitive payment data, such as credit card numbers.  The full title and abstract are below.



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


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.