Our group and works in the news:
Top cited security paper: "Dynamic Provable Data Possession". According to the list compiled by Prof. Konrad Rieck at Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany, our paper is the 4th top cited security paper of 2009, and 50th top cited security paper since 1981. See also Brown CS News Item.
"Fellow finalists from the Department of Computer Science at Brown University in the US were recognised for a different privacy aspect — maintaining anonymity while ensuring accountability. Mira Belenkiy, Melissa Chase, C. Chris Erway, John Jannotti, Alptekin Küpçü, Anna Lysyanskaya and Erich Rachlin focused on peer-to-peer (P2P) systems, such as the popular BitTorrent file-sharing service. These types of services rely on every user's computer providing service as well as receiving services from others. The decentralised nature of peer-to-peer systems makes it difficult to ensure that all computers are providing their fair share of service.
Although privacy and accountability may seem contradictory, the team has found a way to enable this by using advanced cryptography techniques, which they also developed. The proposed approach is analogous to using electronic cash (e-cash) for payment for online services. E-cash systems are designed to be anonymous like real cash, but can also be engineered with mechanisms to inhibit cheating. Here, the currency of e-cash is not monetary value, but levels of trust within a P2P network. The authors explored the economic issues that would be involved in a real deployment in a system like BitTorrent, and evaluated the performance of the system in both simulation and testing of a prototype implementation. The team used computer equipment that is considered basic by today's standards, and concludes that provably secure, anonymous and scalable P2P systems are within reach."