I'm a Reader
in Security Engineering at the School of Computing Science. I
graduated with a PhD in 2007 from the Security
Group (where I still have my old badge), at the Computer
Laboratory, University of Cambridge, under the joint
supervision of Prof Ross Anderson and
Daugman. Earlier, I received my B.Eng (1st class) and M.Eng
degrees from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore,
in 2001 and 2002 respectively. I had several years of working
experience in security industry before joining the faculty as a
lecturer in 2010.
My research interests focus on exploring the interaction between cryptographic theory and security practice. I
first proposed to apply quantization method to derive an encryption key from handwritten signature.
I also proposed the first practical and secure way to combine iris biometrics and cryptography effectively.
With colleagues, I designed a number of cryptographic protocols: AV-net (to date
the most efficient solution to the Dining Cryptographers problem), YAK
(so far the simplest and one of the most robust public-key authenticated key exchange protocols), J-PAKE (one of the most widely
deployed password authenticated key exchange protocols used in the real world), Open Vote network (to date the most
efficient decentralized e-voting protocol) and DRE-i (the first E2E verifiable
e-voting system that is "self-enforcing"). So far, none of these protocols have been broken. Besides designing secure protocols, I have broken several of other
researchers' insecure protocols, mainly in the field of authenticated key exchange.
Some of the protocols that I designed have been applied in practice. In particular, J-PAKE
has been integrated into Mozilla Firefox since Dec, 2010 (see blog).
A verifiable classroom voting system based on the DRE-i protocol has been developed and subsequently
trialed in real classroom teaching with positive student feedback (paper here, the voting results
in a MSc class and a BSc class).
The DRE-i protocol opens up a new category of e-voting protocols, which I call "Self-Enforcing Electronic Voting" (SEEV). In 2012, I was
awarded an ERC starting grant to support my further
investigation on SEEV (one of the 7 such awards in computer science in the UK, and 34 in total in the Europe).
Finally, I have a general interest in designing efficient computing algorithms.
I modified the classic Dynamic Programming algorithm to make it more suitable for handwritten signature
verification. I worked with John Daugman, the original inventor of iris recognition, and designed a
fast search algorithm for iris recognition, which achieves a substantial speed-up over the traditional
exhaustive search algorithm with a negligible loss of accuracy.
I'm fond of security research that is new, useful and diverse. I am a believer of Roger Needham's maxim: "Good research comes from tackling real problems
". I love mathematics but I dislike seeing it overused to make papers look hyper-fancy.
Feng Hao, Xun Yi, Liqun Chen, Siamak Shahandashti, "Fairy-Ring Dance: Password Authenticated Key Exchange in a Group," in preparation, 2014.
- It presents a new way to construct a multi-party PAKE protocol with optimal round efficiency.
Feng Hao, Siamak Shahandashti, "The SPEKE Protocol Revisited," under review, 2014.
- It points out several security issues with the SPEKE protocol, as currently defined in the IEEE P1363.2 and ISO/IEC 11770-4 standards, and also proposes concrete changes to both standards.
- Xun Yi, Feng Hao, Elisa Bertino, "ID-Based Two-Server Password-Authenticated Key Exchange," accepted by
European Symposium on Research in Computer Security (ESORICS), 2014.
- It presents a compiler to construct two-server PAKE from any secure two-party PAKE based on identity-based encryption.
- Kiavash Satvat, Matthew Forshaw, Feng Hao, Ehsan Toreini, "On The Privacy of Private Browsing - A Forensic Approach," accepted by Journal of Information Security and Applications, Elsevier, 2014. [Preprint]
- It is a journal version of the earlier short paper presented at DPM'13.
- Feng Hao, Matthew Kreeger, Brian Randell, Dylan
Clarke, Siamak Shahandashti, Peter Lee, "Every Vote Counts:
Ensuring Integrity in Large-Scale Electronic Voting," accepted
by the USENIX Journal of Election Technology and Systems
(JETS), Vol. 2, No. 3, 2014. [Paper]
- This paper lays the foundation for my 2012
ERC starting grant on "self-enforcing e-voting". It
challenges the traditional view on the role of trustworthy
tallying authorities in E2E verifiable voting protocols and
argues that such a role may not be as indispensable as many
people have believed over the past twenty years. Since the
initial publication as an IACR report in 2010,
the paper was repeatedly rejected by various conferences. In
the final acceptance, the DRE-i protocol is basically the same
as that in the 2010 IACR report.
- Kiavash Satvat, Matthew Forshaw, Feng Hao, Ehsan Toreini, "On The Privacy of Private Browsing - A Forensic Approach (short paper)", ESORICS Workshop on Data Privacy Management (DPM'13), to appear in LNCS [Paper] [Slides]
- It presents a comprehensive security analysis of the current state of private browsing as implemented in major browsers. The testing software is released here as open source.
- Dylan Clarke, Feng Hao, "Cryptanalysis of the Dragonfly Key Exchange Protocol," 2013, accepted by IET Information Security. [Preprint]
- It points out that the omission of public key validation renders the Dragonfly protocol (a recent Internet draft submitted to IETF) completely insecure.
- Feng Hao, Dylan Clarke, Carlton Shepherd, "Verifiable Classroom Voting - Where Cryptography Meets Pedagogy," Proceedings of the 21st Security Protocols Workshop (SPW), Cambridge, UK, 2013. [Paper]
- In this paper, we propose - and have implemented - the first verifiable classroom voting system.
- Jean Lancrenon, Dalia Khader, Peter Ryan, Feng Hao, "Password-based Authenticated Key Establishment Protocols," Computer And Information Security Handbook, pp. 300-350, Elsevier, 2013.
- It is an invited contribution as a book chapter on password authenticated key exchange protocols.
- Feng Hao, Brian Randell, Dylan Clarke, "Self-Enforcing Electronic Voting," Proceedings of the 20th Security Protocols Workshop (SPW'12), Cambridge, UK, LNCS 7622, pp. 23-31, 2012.
2012. [Draft] (also available in Newcastle University technical report No. 1311)
- It presents a vision about the next-generation e-voting.
- Dylan Clarke, Feng Hao, Brian Randell, "Analysis of Issues and Challenges of E-voting in the UK," Proceedings of the 20th Security Protocols Workshop (SPW'12), Cambridge, UK, LNCS 7622, pp. 126-135, 2012.
- It reviews the practical issues and challenges encountered in the UK e-voting trials.
- Feng Hao, Dylan Clarke, "Security Analysis of a Multi-Factor Authenticated Key Exchange," Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Applied
Cryptography and Network Security (ACNS'12), LNCS 7341, pp. 1-11, 2012. [Draft]
- It reports two attacks on a multi-factor authenticated key exchange, proposed by Pointcheval and Zimmer at ACNS'08.
- Feng Hao, "On Robust Key Agreement Based on Public Key Authentication," Security and Communication Networks, Special issue on Design and Engineering of Cryptographic
Solutions for Secure Information Systems, Wiley, 2012. [Paper] [IACR archive]
- This is the journal version of the YAK paper that was first presented at FC'10.
- Dalia Khader, Ben Smyth, Peter Y. A. Ryan, and Feng Hao, "A Fair and Robust Voting System
by Broadcast", Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Electronic Voting
(EVOTE'12), 2012. [Paper]
- It describes how to add fairness and resistance to disruptions in decentralized e-voting.
- Feng Hao, Peter Ryan, "How to sync with Alice," Proceedings of the 19th Security Protocols
Workshop (SPW'11), Cambridge, UK, LNCS 7114, pp. 170-178, 2011. [Paper]
- It describes the sync problem and compares solutions by different browsers.
- Feng Hao, Matthew Nicolas Kreeger, "Every Vote Counts: Ensuring Integrity in DRE-based
Voting System," IACR report, 2010, [No. 452]
(also available in Newcastle University technical report No. 1268)
- It proposes a DRE-i protocol to ensure integrity for a DRE-based voting system.
- Feng Hao, Peter Ryan, "J-PAKE: Authenticated Key Exchange Without PKI," Springer Transactions on
Computational Science XI, Special Issue on Security in Computing, Part II, Vol. 6480, pp. 192-206,
- It is a journal version of the J-PAKE paper, which was first presented at SPW'08.
- Feng Hao, "On Robust Key Agreement Based on Public Key Authentication", Proceedings of
the 14th International Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security (FC'10), Tenerife, Spain, LNCS
6052, pp. 383-390, 2010. [paper]
- It presents two new attacks on the HMQV protocol, which is currently being standardized by IEEE P1363. These attacks highlight the caution one should take when interpreting the provable results from a formal model. It also presents a new authenticated key agreement protocol called YAK. The YAK protocol is by far the simplest public-key authenticated key exchange protocol.
- Feng Hao, "On Small Subgroup Non-Confinement Attacks," Proceedings of the 10th IEEE
International Conference on Computer and Information Technology, pp. 1022-1025, 2010.
- It explains that sometimes an attacker may exploit the non-confinement of small subgroups to attack some password-authenticated key exchange schemes.
- Feng Hao, Peter Ryan, Piotr Zielinski, "Anonymous Voting by 2-Round Public Discussion,"
IET Information Security, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 62-67, 2010 [paper]
- It presents a decentralized e-voting scheme called Open Vote Network. Our proposal is by far the most efficient solution among the decentralized e-voting schemes in all aspects, including the number of rounds, the computational load and the bandwidth usage
- Feng Hao, Piotr Zielinski, "The Power of Anonymous Veto in Public Discussion,"
Springer Transactions on Computational Science IV, Vol. 5430, pp. 41-52, Springer, 2009.
- It's a journal version of av-net paper that was first presented at SPW'06.
- Feng Hao, Peter Ryan, "Password Authenticated Key Exchange by Juggling (Transcript of Discussion) ," Proceedings of
the 16th Workshop on Security Protocols (SPW'08), Cambridge, UK, LNCS 6615, pp. 172-179, 2008.
- It is a transcript of discussion for the presentation of J-PAKE at SPW'08.
- Feng Hao, Peter Ryan, "Password Authenticated Key Exchange by Juggling," Proceedings of
the 16th Workshop on Security Protocols (SPW'08), Cambridge, UK, LNCS 6615, pp. 159-171, 2008.
- It proposes a crypto protocol called Password Authenticated Key Exchange by Juggling (J-PAKE). Compared with EKE (patented by Lucent Technologies) and SPEKE (patented by Phoenix Technologies), J-PAKE has clear advantages in security with comparable efficiency.
- Feng Hao, John Daugman, Piotr Zielinski, "A fast search algorithm for a large fuzzy database,"
IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 203-212, 2008.
- It proposes a fast search algorithm for iris recognition, which achieves a substantial speed-up over exhaustive search with a negligible loss of precision.
- Feng Hao, "Kish's Key Exchange Scheme Is insecure," IEE Information Security, Vol. 153,
No. 4, pp. 141-142, 2006. [Paper]
- It points out that a "totally secure" communication system, featured in Science (2005), is seriously flawed. In security design, one cannot make security assumptions arbitrarily.
- Feng Hao, Piotr Zielinski, "A 2-Round Anonymous Veto Protocol (Transcript of Discussion),"
14th International Workshop on Security Protocols (SPW'06), Cambridge, UK, LNCS 5087, pp. 212-214, 2009. [Springer]
- It is a discussion of transcript of the av-net workshop paper.
- Feng Hao, Piotr Zielinski, "A 2-Round Anonymous Veto Protocol," Proceedings of the 14th
International Workshop on Security Protocols (SPW'06), Cambridge, UK, LNCS 5087, pp. 202-211, 2006. [Paper] [Slides][Springer]
- It proposes a solution to the Dining Cryptographers problem (Chaum, 1988). Our proposal is by far the most efficient among all solutions proposed so far.
- Feng Hao, Ross Anderson, John Daugman, "Combining Crypto with Biometrics Effectively,"
IEEE Transactions on Computers, Vol. 55, No. 9, pp. 1081-1088, 2006. [Paper]
- It proposes the first practical and secure way to integrate the iris biometric into cryptographic applications.
- Feng Hao, "Combining Crypto with Biometrics: a New Human-Security Interface," 13th
International Workshop on Security Protocols (SPW'05), Cambridge, UK, LNCS 4631, pp. 133-138, 2005.
- It presents a transcript of discussion on combining crypto with biometrics.
- Feng Hao, Choog-Wah Chan, "Online Signature Verification Using a New Extreme Points
Warping Technique," Pattern Recognition Letters, Vol. 24, No. 16, pp. 2943-2951, 2003. [Paper]
- It modifies the classic Dynamic Programming algorithm to better suit the requirements of handwritten signature verification.
- Feng Hao, Choog-Wah Chan, "Private Key Generation from On-line Handwritten Signatures,"
Information Management & Computer Security, Vol. 10, No. 4, 159-164, 2002.
- It proposes to apply quantisation to derive stable bits from handwritten signatures.
- Feng Hao, "J-PAKE: Password Authenticated Key Exchange by Juggling," 2013 [Internet Draft]
- An internet draft submitted to IETF about J-PAKE.
- Feng Hao, "Schnorr NIZK Proof: Non-interactive Zero Knowledge Proof for Discrete Logarithm," 2013 [Internet Draft]
- An internet draft submitted to IETF about Schnorr signature.
- Feng Hao, Matthew Nicolas Kreeger, "Electronic voting apparatus and method," 2011 [Link]
- A pending international patent on a secure large-scale e-voting scheme without involving trusted authorities.
- Feng Hao, "On Using Fuzzy Data in Security Mechanisms," PhD dissertation, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge, 2007. [Tech report]
- My PhD dissertation. Probably the shortest among those submitted by PhD graduates in the computer laboratory. See all technical reports.
- Feng Hao, "Cryptosystem with private key generation from dynamic properties
of human hand signature," M.Eng dissertation, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 2002. [Link] [PDF]
- Newcastle University Security Research wiki [Link]
- An informal wiki system that I am currently maintaining to coordinate security research activities in the School of Computing Science.