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CDT alumni

Our alumni

  • Dr Marcel Armour
    Marcel submitted his thesis titled 'Cryptographic Subversion Attacks Targeting Receivers' in October 2022 and is now with Mastercard as a Cryptography Engineer.

  • Dr Simon Bell 
    Simon’s thesis focuses on a data-driven approach to investigate phishing and malware attacks on Twitter. By collecting and analysing large-scale datasets, Simon explored how effective Twitter’s defence system is at protecting its users against these malicious attacks. Simon's thesis can be viewed here 
  • Dr Simon Butler
    Simon's thesis explores the security concerns about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, including their use for criminal activity. Using securitisation theory, Simon examines where cryptocurrencies might fit into our future vision of money and in what way they challenge centuries of debate about this key pillar of society.   
  • Dr Benjamin Curtis
    Ben's thesis is on Cryptanalysis and Applications of Lattice-based Encryption Schemes. The work ranges across contributions to attacking such schemes, establishing their security, and examining the not inconsiderable challenges of implementing them in practice. During his time with the CDT, Ben published four papers, two at the Workshop on Encrypted Computing and Applied Homomorphic Cryptography, a conference most closely matching some of his work, one at Selected Areas of Cryptography and one at the International Conference on Security in Communications Networks (SCN). This latter paper is the influential work on establishing an estimation of lattice security parameters, which was co-authored by a number of ISG researchers.
    Ben is now a post-doc at the Alan Turning Institute.
  • Dr Alex Davidson
    Graduated from the University of Warwick with a BSc Mathematics degree, receiving first class honours. He was supervised by Prof Carlos Cid and conducted research into the development of cryptographic constructions. Alex's thesis, titled "Computing Functions Securely: Theory, Implementation and Cryptanalysis or, Topics in Insecurity" can be viewed here 
  • Dr Amit Deo
    Amit's thesis is on lattice-based cryptography and contains three main contributions. First, Amit (and Dr Martin Albrecht) showed that there exist parameters for the Ring-LWE problem that are equivalent to parameters for the Module-LWE problem for any dimension d. This strengthens our confidence in Ring-LWE as a platform problem to build (post-quantum) cryptography from. This work was published at ASIACRYPT 2017. Second, Amit (together with Prof Kenny Paterson and Dr Martin Albrecht) showed that cold boot attacks easier than one might expect on Module-LWE based schemes such as Kyber (and to some extend Ring-LWE based schemes such as New Hope). This is due to the secret key being stored in NTT domain on the device, giving rise to an LWE-like problem with additional algebraic structure that can be exploitable. This work won the best paper award at CHES 2018., Amit (together with Dr Alex Davidson, Nigel Smart and Dr Martin Albrecht) constructed the first (conjectured to be) post-quantum secure verifiable oblivious pseudorandom function (VOPRF). Such a function allows a client to evaluate a PRF under some server key, without the server learning the input to the PRF. Such functions are, for example, used in Privacy Pass While this construction is far from the efficiency of pre-quantum alternatives, it’s a first step towards preserving such functionality in a post-quantum world. This work is currently in submission.  Amit has now joined the AriC Team at ENS Lyon as a postdoc.

  • Dr Amy Ertan
    Amy's research focused on the security of implications of artificial intelligence in military contexts. Interviewing policy and defence experts in the UK, US and at NATO, her research found the military innovation landscape is rapidly evolving to account for emerging technologies. Amy submitted her doctoral thesis in early May 2022 and is currently a Cyber Security Researcher with the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn, Estonia. Her thesis can be viewed here
  • Dr Andreas Haggman
    For his thesis, Andreas developed an original educational tabletop wargame based on the UK National Cyber Security Strategy and deployed this to a range of public and private organisations in the UK and internationally to gather data on the pedagogic efficacy of the game. The findings showed that the game was a powerful tool for creating learning moments. During his PhD Andreas was also involved in many (many!) activities outside his core research, including presenting at numerous conferences and workshops, and being part of the organising team for the Cyber 9/12 UK student policymaking challenge. Andreas now works as Head of Cyber Advocacy -Skills, Innovation and Research at DCMS. 
  • Dr Torben Hansen
    Torben's thesis concerns the security of SSH, one of the most important and commonly-used secure communications protocols. In his thesis, Torben developed clever timing attacks against the SSH protocol in the case when it uses CBC-mode for encryption (once its most popular configuration). He also presented the results of two Internet-wide surveys, carried out in 2015 and 2019, to evaluate the usage of SSH "in the wild". His thesis then provides formal security analysis, in the provable security tradition, for a range of different encryption options in SSH. Finally in this thesis, Torben showed how to streamline and then efficiently and securely implement a scheme called InterMAC in the SSH context. This scheme provides enhanced security protection compared to the currently available encryption options in SSH, particularly where traffic analysis is a concern.  
    Torben has recently joined the Crypto Engineering Team at Amazon Web Services. 
  • Dr Steve Hersee 
    Steven's thesis is titled "The Cyber Security Dilemma and the Securitisation of Cyberspace" - mixing up in-depth research and analysis of debates around encryption, the dark web, UK cyber security strategy and the Investigatory Powers Act, with a piece of ethnographic work during the several seasons Steve worked as a ‘hunter’ for the Channel 4 tv programme Hunted. Steve is now head of strategy for cyber security within the Cabinet Office.

  • Dr Rory Hopcraft  
    Rory submitted his thesis titled 'The Creation and Role of Maritime Cybersecurity Governance' in December 2021. His research investigates investigates and contributes to the understanding of the development of maritime cybersecurity governance. Rory is now Lecturer in Cyber Security at University of Plymouth.
  • Dr Jonathan Hoyland
    Jonathan's thesis, titled 'An analysis of TLS 1.3 and its use of composite protocols' provides a comprehensive and modular symbolic model of TLS 1.3 and uses the Tamain prover to verify the claimed TLS 1.3 requirements. Jonathan now works at Cloudflare.

  • Dr Jodie Knapp
    Jodie passed her viva with her thesis ‘Extending the functionality and security of time-based primitives’ in August 2023.  The overarching theme of the thesis is to explore the role of time in cryptography with an emphasis on protocol design, security modelling, and reducing assumptions of trust placed upon external entities or users. Explicitly focusing on two time-based primitives: Updatable Encryption and Secret Sharing Protocols. Jodie is now a Post-Doc Researcher at University of Surrey.
  • Dr Thalia Laing
    Thalia spent her time with the CDT focusing on Secret Sharing Schemes and their application to constrained devices. Her resulting thesis, titled "Enhanced Threshold Schemes and their Applications' has led her to successfully complete the programme and gain her PhD. Thalia has now embarked on a career as Senior Researcher in the Security Lab of HP Labs. 
  • Dr Eamonn Postlethwaite
    Eamonn’s thesis is on solving hard lattice problems via lattice sieving, the fastest known family of algorithms for this task. As you may recall, hard problems on lattices are important computational problems for building cryptographic schemes that are secure against quantum computers and to achieve advanced functionalities such as computing on encrypted data. Eamonn is now doing a postdoc with Léo Ducas at CWI in Amsterdam to study the intersection of lattices and codes
  • Dr Dusan Repel 
    Dusan passed his PhD with his thesis titled 'Techniques for the Automation of the Heap Exploit Synthesis Pipeline'.
  • Dr Nicholas Robinson
    Nick’s thesis Distributed Denial-of-Government: The Data Embassy and the geopolitical, diplomatic and legal implications of extraterritorial data storage was submitted in September 2020. The thesis focuses on the Estonian Data Embassy project and aims to understand what the primary motivations are behind the government’s decision to begin storing its data extraterritorially outside of its borders.

  • Dr Laura Shipp
    Laura’s research contributed to a burgeoning area of research known as femi-nist cyber security which seeks to reimagine what cyber security is and does. It brings feminist geo-political thought into conversation with the theory and practice of cyber security, using this to con-sider what feminist cyber security could look like. Laura submitted her thesis titled ‘Leaky Bodies, Leaking Data: Period Tracking Apps, Menstrual Capitalism And The Praxis Of Feminist Cyber Secu-rity’, was awarded her PhD in December 2022 and is now a research assistant at Royal Holloway
  • Dr Pallavi Sivakumaran
    Pallavi completed her PhD in 2021, with her thesis exploring security and privacy concerns in Bluetooth Low Energy. Pallavi is now a security researcher at WithSecure
  • Dr Luke Stewart
    Luke’s research explored how distinct difference configurations may be used to distribute symmetric keys in a wireless sensor network, so that data transmitted between nodes in the network may be encrypted. Luke submitted his thesis titled ‘Distinct Difference Configura-tions in Groups’ in summer 2022
  • Dr Thyla Van Der Merwe 
    Thyla was with ETH Zurich building an industry-focused research centre and is now Security Engineering Manager at Google. Whilst at Royal Holloway, Thyla's research focused on attacking TLS 1.2, as well as verifying TLS 1.3 Thyla's thesis can be accessed here.

  • Dr Fernando Virdia
    Fernando’s thesis deals with post-quantum cryptography with an emphasis on lattices and focuses on cryptanalysis and implementation. 
  • Dr Conrad Williams 
    During his time with the CDT, Conrad successfully presented at a wide range of conferences and had several research papers published. Conrad passed his PhD with the submission of his thesis titled 'Completeness in Languages for Attribute-based Access Control', and has now joined specialist reinsurance broker Capsicum as part of their cyber team.

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