Top international cryptography conference in Queenstown

One of the top three cryptography conferences will be held this year in December in Queenstown, New Zealand, and already the guest list is a who's who of the cryptographic world.

AsiaCrypt 2002 is one of three International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR) conferences held each year, the other two being in the US and Europe. Otago University's associate professor of information science Hank Wolfe says the number of papers submitted for the conference suggests participants are in for a number of high-quality sessions.

"Normally at the other conferences, both of which are bigger than this one, there are roughly 140 papers submitted. We've had 175."

The conference only has room for 35 papers and Wolfe says they've been able to chose from a very high level of submissions.

"That tells you the quality of those 35 is going to be right up there, probably a cut above the other two conferences because we had that many more to chose from."

The conference already boasts some of the world's leading lights on its speakers' list.

"We've got the one of the founders of RSA Security, we've got the guy who's purportedly found a weakness in the AES [advanced encryption standard]. There are quite a few names but if you're not in the business they won't mean anything to you."

Wolfe does single out one name for special mention: the man who brought the term "gummy fingers" to the world.

"Tsutomu Matsumoto from Yokohama University put forward a presentation in May about his experiments with 11 different biometric fingerprint readers and how he'd defeated all of them using nothing more complex than the gelatin you can buy in the store."

Wolfe, who's been in New Zealand for 23 years, also hopes to use the conference to show off some of New Zealand to the visitors.

"We're having a powhiri at the beginning and a Maori weapons demonstration at the reception. Dinner one night at Walter Peak Station and we'll get there on the Earnslaw. All these things will be things they remember. I'm trying to make it special so they remember it and tell their friends about this wonderful place."

The conference runs from December 1 to 5.

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