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Seminar:  SafeSlinger - Usable Key Verification Roadmap

Date:April 20, 2015 
Talk Title:SafeSlinger - Usable Key Verification Roadmap
Speaker:Michael Farb
Time & Location:12:00pm - 1:00pm
Panther Hollow Room, CIC Building, Pittsburgh


SafeSlinger is the result of research into several protocols, designed to subvert the bane of public-key cryptography, the man-in-the-middle attack. This solution easily bootstraps secure communication, in-person or remote, with a device most people already own - their phone. SafeSlinger is designed to allow users to securely exchange any data, such as a public key, for later use. When users run SafeSlinger, they enter a pair of short numbers and confirm a 3-word phrase matches that displayed by other users' phones. 

This talk will provide a short overview of current SafeSlinger exchange properties, user experience, and our roadmap. We’ll discuss: ongoing integration efforts with other open source end-to-end encryption projects, user experiences, use cases we target, and many open questions about how we can improve user experience intuition, anonymity, alternate wireless exchange channels, desktop design, and provide better incentives for users to verify digital contacts. We’re looking for collaborators interested in usable security and networking.

 You can download some SafeSlinger applications for instant messaging and email at

Speaker Bio

Michael W. Farb joined Carnegie Mellon CyLab as a Research Programmer in 2010. He received his BA from Beloit College in 1995, and as a mobile device software developer, has worked in publishing, transportation, and security. While at NuvoMedia, a pioneering digital publisher of the late 90's, Michael created software to manufacture their Rocket eBook reading devices. At FedEx Ground, Michael built mobile software for 3 generations of pickup and delivery scanners, and created mobile applications to replace mainframe processes that manage delivery quality. He now is working with researchers at CyLab to provide smartphone end-users with practical solutions for securely exchanging their identity data.


Current research: