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Distinguished Seminar:  Balancing Privacy and Functionality - Secure Communication with Middleboxes

Date:December 5, 2016 
Talk Title:Balancing Privacy and Functionality - Secure Communication with Middleboxes
Speaker:David Naylor, PhD Candidate in the School of Computer Science
Time & Location:12:00pm - 1:00pm
DEC, CIC building, Pittsburgh


We are clearly moving toward an Internet where encryption is ubiquitous—by some estimates, more than half of all Web traffic is HTTPS, and the number is growing. This is a win in terms of privacy and security, but it comes at the cost of functionality and performance, since encryption blinds middleboxes (devices like intrusion detection systems or web caches that process traffic in the network). In this talk I will describe two recent and ongoing projects exploring techniques for including middleboxes in secure sessions in a controlled manner. The first is a protocol, developed in collaboration with Telefónica Research and called Multi-Context TLS (mcTLS), that adds access control to TLS so that middleboxes can be added to a TLS session with restricted permissions. The second, which is ongoing work with Microsoft Research, explores bringing trusted computing technologies like Intel SGX to network middleboxes.

Speaker Bio

David is a sixth year Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon University, where he's advised by Peter Steenkiste. His primary research interests are computer networking, security, and privacy, but he’s also interested in Web measurement and performance ( and David is currently on the academic job market.