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Last week saw PhD students from the ISG make the trip out to Šibenik; a city on the long coastline of the Adriatic Sea, Croatia. Not only is Croatia the filming location for King's Landing in Game of Thrones, it is also the home of the annual Summer School on Real-World Crypto and Privacy. The school aims at bringing together PhD students, postdoc researchers and security experts from industry in a four-day event. As well as ample networking opportunities, the summer school provides a host of introductory lectures on various topics. This year, these included:

Cryptography for the Internet
Recent developments in symmetric key cryptography
Security proofs in cryptography
Wireless security
Cryptography for systems security
Software and hardware security
Privacy enhancing technologies

Within these lectures, the ISG's own Professor Kenny Paterson presented recent work with second year CDT student Torben Hansen on security notions for the SSH secure channel. Students also got to take the stage, in an afternoon of lightning talks in which they had the opportunity to present their past or present work to the audience.

The event saw its close with a ceremonial trip to the infamous pirate ship bar, where many students had the opportunity to create bonds with their fellow researchers throughout the voyage of their own PhDs. It also provided a comfortable platform for friends to reacquaint before shipping off back home.

We would like to thank the organisers and sponsors of the summer school for putting on a great event. For more details, visit: https://summerschool-croatia.cs.ru.nl/2017/.

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Every year a number of the top graduates of the GCHQ accredited MSc Information Security programme contributes valuable white papers to the Information Security industry through a thesis series hosted by Computer Weekly. In the fourth article - "Cyber-risks in maritime container terminals: Analysis of threats and simulation of impacts" - of our Computer Weekly 2017 Royal Holloway Information Security thesis series, Peter Beaumont explains the dependence of modern container terminals on communications technology, and shows how the impact of cyber-attacks against them can be modelled using Discrete Event Simulation techniques. 

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On Monday 5th June 2017, the first London Crypto Day was held in the Moore Auditorium of Royal Holloway, University of London, sponsored by the London Mathematical Society and the Royal Holloway Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security.

The event, organised by Liz Quaglia and Kenny Paterson, from the Information Security Group at Royal Holloway, University of London, attracted over 50 attendees for a day of cryptography talks. The impressive list of speakers for this event included:

Martin Albrecht, Royal Holloway, University of London: Primal and Dual Attacks on LWE-based Encryption Schemes

Liqun Chen, University of Surrey: Cryptography and Trust

Jens Groth, University College London: Snarky Signatures: Minimal Signatures of Knowledge from Simulation-Extractable SNARKS

Aggelos Kiayias, University of Edinburgh: Ouroboros: A Provably Secure Proof-of-Stake Blockchain Protocol

Markulf Kohlweiss, Microsoft Research Cambridge: A Cryptographically Verified Implementation of crypto-box

Maura Paterson, Birkbeck, University of London, Reducing download complexity and storage requirements in PIR

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Every year a number of the top graduates of the GCHQ accredited MSc Information Security programme contributes valuable white papers to the Information Security industry through a thesis series hosted by Computer Weekly. In the third article - 'Cyber-physical attacks: Dawn of a new age in cyber-warfare' - of our Computer Weekly 2017 Royal Holloway Information Security thesis series, Christopher Cope examines the potential impact of cyber-physical attacks, focusing particularly on the use of aggressive cyber activity in support of political objectives.

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The Information Security Group (ISG) at Royal Holloway, University of London has won the award for the Best Cyber Security Education Programme at SC Awards Europe 2017.

The highly respected industry award was presented at the InfoSec 2017 ceremony in London last night (6 June) to Professor Carlos Cid, an ISG academic and Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security at Royal Holloway.

The Best Cyber Security Education Programme category includes all cyber security education programmes for any establishments throughout the UK and Europe who offer a qualification based on the quality of instruction, programmes and how well these prepare students for the marketplace. The judging panel of experts is drawn from the senior ranks of the information security profession, selected for their experience and impartiality, representing major European and global brands as well as prestigious government departments.

Principal of Royal Holloway, Professor Paul Layzell said,

“Many congratulations to all our ISG colleagues on this outstanding success. The award is a richly deserved tribute to the first class education provided by the ISG, recognising their excellence, innovation and best practice in the Cyber Security sector.”

Professor Keith Mayes, Director of the ISG and Head of the School of Mathematics and Information Security at Royal Holloway said,

“I am absolutely delighted that the ISG’s pioneering efforts in Information/cyber security education have been recognised by this prestigious award. It is particularly gratifying that we were judged by experts from industry and government as our MSc was inspired by their needs more than 25 years ago! The continued success of our educational courses is in part due to their relevance, which leads to very high employability of our graduates, but also from research-inspired teaching by world class experts.”

The profile and impact of cyber security has increased exponentially in global society since the ISG launched its flagship MSc Information Security degree programme in 1992, the first programme of its kind in the world. Over 4,000 students from more than 100 countries have graduated since then.

A key strength of the MSc Information Security degree is its focus on education for the needs of government and industry. This success was recognised in 2014 when Royal Holloway became one of only four UK universities to gain GCHQ certification for their Cyber Security Masters programmes.

The MSc programme develops a comprehensive all-round appreciation of information security, backed up in all areas by the strength and breadth of expertise of the ISG's network of academics and security professionals. Currently the ISG supervises over 90 PhD students and has more than 450 MSc students studying on campus and Distance Learning programmes.

Prospective students can find out more about the studying options available on the Information Security Group website:

ISG is receiving applications for the 2017/18 CDT cohort, and have a number of fully-funded studentships to award to qualified and eligible candidates, to start their PhD studies in September 2017.

Notes

Since its foundation in 1990, the ISG has been a world renowned centre of excellence in information/cyber security research, education and expert advice. It is a GCHQ/EPSRC Centre of Excellence for research (ACE-CSR), it has GCHQ certified education, and hosts one of only two UK Cyber Security Centres for Doctoral Training (CDT), as well as the Smart Card & IoT Security Centre and Systems Security Research Lab. ISG comprises:

20+ information/cyber security academic specialist staff
12+ Postdoctoral Research Assistants
90+ PhD, 450+ MSc Students on Campus and Distance Learning Programmes
10+ Visiting Professors and Fellows

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Every year a number of the top graduates of the GCHQ accredited MSc Information Security programme contributes valuable white papers to the Information Security industry through a thesis series hosted by Computer Weekly. In the second article article - "Towards more robust internetworks: an application of graph theory" - of our Computer Weekly 2017 Royal Holloway Information Security thesis series, Jamie Greenwood shows how graph theory can be used to evaluate the robustness of various network configurations when subjected to targeted attacks.

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Always a pleasure to exhibit at @Infosecurity #infosec17 at Olympia - come and have a chat with us on stand A180!

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Computer Weekly 2017 information security thesis series: Are we trusting social networks too much?

Every year a number of the top graduates of the GCHQ accredited MSc Information Security programme contributes valuable white papers to the Information Security industry through a thesis series hosted by Computer Weekly. In the first article - 'Are we trusting social networks too much?' - of our Computer Weekly 2017 Royal Holloway Information Security thesis series, Minerva Hoessl analyses the privacy policies of some of the main social network providers.

The full MSc thesis from which the article is distilled is published on the Information Security Group's Technical Reports webpage.

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What is the WISDOM Group?

The WISDOM (Women in the Information Security Domain and/or Mathematics) group was set up in May 2016 as a friendly discussion group for members of the School of Mathematics and Information Security who are interested in exploring ways that more women can be encouraged into the fields of Information Security and Mathematics. The group has gone from strength-to-strength, growing in numbers and providing a positive impact.

The School of Mathematics and Information Security have produced a new video, available now on the Information Security Group's YouTube Channel, which provides an introduction to WISDOM and explains more about how the group came about, what the benefits are and how the group enriches the equality and diversity of the department, university and beyond.

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Dr Geraint Price was interviewed for "Post Cyntaf" (trans. "First Post"), the morning's regular news coverage on Tue, 16th of May on BBC Radio Cymru (BBC Welsh language radio station). The interview discussed the outbreak of the WannaCry ransomware attack which had made front page news over the weekend as a result of the widespread impact it had on NHS services on Friday the 12th of May.

The discussion focused on the attacks happened, whether it likely that we would see similar large-scale attacks in the future, and what did we know about the perpetrators of the attack. For those that wish to listen to the interview (which is in the Welsh language), the programme is available on BBC iPlayer Radio.
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