I'm a lecturer in 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 Prof
John 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 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
trialled 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 categority 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.
- 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 ESORICS workshop DPM'13.
- Feng Hao, Dylan Clarke, Avelino Zorzo, "Deleting Secret Data with Public Verifibility," 2014, under review [draft]
- It presents a cryptographic protocol to make the data deletion operations more transparent and verifiable.
- 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, Matthew Kreeger, Brian Randell, Dylan Clarke, "Every Vote Counts: Ensuring Integrity in Large-Scale Electronic Voting," 2013. Under review [draft]
- This paper lays the foundation for my 2012 ERC starting grant on "self-enforcing e-voting". It challenges the traditional view that the use of trustworthy tallying authorities in an End-to-End (E2E) verifiable e-voting system is really indispensable.
- 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.
- 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.