My Research Inclination

Aniket Kate

My research interests lie at the intersection of cryptographic research, and systems security (and privacy) research. I design, implement, and analyze privacy and transparency enhancing technologies.

With the rise of personal computers and the Internet in the last three decades, cryptography has received a tremendous amount of attention, which has led to its rapid and extensive development. It is now considered a full-fledged academic subject rather than an applied field in algebra and complexity theory. However, only a small fraction of this extensive cryptographic research is being used in practice. Practitioners and systems researchers prefer to build their systems using the basic encryption and signature schemes, and generally reliable but theoretically unsound security assumptions as most existing elaborate cryptographic protocols are not designed with careful consideration of real-world systems issues and threats. With few exceptions, these issues have remained largely unaddressed in the cryptography research community.

My work aims at bridging this gap between cryptographic research and system security (and privacy) research. Along with producing mathematically and theoretically elegant cryptographic results, I endeavor to make them useful in the real world and give the utmost attention to the usefulness of my work in practical scenarios. In the long run, I wish to realize better authentication, privacy and robustness guarantees for ever-growing Internet-based systems by developing advanced-yet-practical cryptographic tools.

My current projects focus on developing cryptographic systems for privacy and decentralized trust. During my PhD at Waterloo and my postdoc at MPI-SWS, I concentrated mainly on bridging the gap between theoretical and practical research on privacy enhancing technologies (PETs) and secure distributed computing. At Saarland University, I started to analyze and improve security and privacy of cryptocurrencies and other blockchain technologies. Blockchains, smart contracts, and layer-2 protocols have continued to remain my key area of research even after I moved to Purdue in 2015.

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