International Conference on Cryptography and High Performance Computing

Conference Details

Date:  Wednesday 21 September 2016,  1pm - 5pm (Capture the Flag: 9am - 1pm)

Venue: Craiglockhart Campus, Edinburgh

Cost: Free event


In collaboration with BCS Edinburgh and Taylor & Francis, this conference will discuss some of the major issues involved in encryption, including with the usage of high performance computing to crack cryptography, and in law enforcement and industry challenges [Register for Conference].

A Capture The Flag (CTF) challenge will run from 9am to 1pm, with awards for the best teams being presented at the conference.  The challenge will include problems of varied difficulty, where both beginners and seasoned information security experts will find something to enjoy [Register for CTF].

Key papers will be published within the Journal of Cyber Security Technology.

Event Programme

The following provides an outline of the programme:

Time 1st Floor Younger Suite, Clusters 2/16A&B
9am-1pm Crypto Cracking Capture The Flag, Charley Celice and Peter Aaby.

Make a day of it and take part in a Capture the Flag (CTF) competition from 9am. The competition will include challenges of varied difficulty, where both beginners and seasoned information security experts will find something to enjoy. Laptops will be provided, so you do not need to bring anything but yourself or your team. The competition will run from 9am to 1pm with awards for the best performance being presented at the conference.

12.30-1.15pm Conference Registration, Networking and Refreshments:  Foyer
 1.15pm  Lindsay Stewart Lecture Theatre
1.15-2.15pm Quantum Computing and Impact On Public Key Encryption, Prof Alan Woodward (Keynote).

In this talk we will take a rapid look at how conventional computing has developed in it’s power and the limitations that we are rapidly approaching. One answer to the limitations of silicon based conventional computing is the development of quantum computers. We will introduce the basic quantum physical principles behind quantum computers, and talk about some of the candidate technologies that are competing for the crown.  We will give a gentle introduction to a specific quantum algorithm (Shor’s algorithm) and explain why it has some profound implications for the current, most popular encryption schemes that we all rely upon daily.

2.15-2:45pm Quantum Cloud Computing, Prof Elham Kashefi, University of Edinburgh

In this presentation, Prof Kashefi will present an introduction to key issues in quantum computing that would affect cyber security markets and key applications underway as part of UK national quantum technology program.  She will explore issues such as ‘blind’ computation, hybrid classical/quantum computing, quantum simulation and the verification of quantum computers.

2:45 - 3.15pm Refreshments: Foyer
3.15 pm
Lindsay Stewart Lecture Theatre
3.15-3:45pm Differential Privacy and Quantum Robust Crypto, Prof Bill Buchanan, Edinburgh Napier University.

This will include a practical demonstration on how high performance computers and quantum computers can be setup to crack methods such as for RSA, and provides a demonstration of new quantum robust methods. There will be full demonstrations and a simplified overview of the new cryptography methods which would be relevant to protect cryptography from cracking within high performance environments, including to be resistant against cracking from quantum computers.

3.45 - 4pm CTF Awards Presented by John Murdoch, IBM
4:00 -5:00pm Practical side-channel attacks on embedded device cryptography, Doug Carson, Dr Owen Lo, and Charley Celice (Endnote)

This presentation outlines the methods of monitoring devices for their electrical power drain and radio emissions, in order to determine both the classifications of the encryption method and the encryption key. It will provide practical demonstration of cracking cryptography from monitoring things like the electrical power drain, the radio wave emission, and from monitoring input/output ports, such as from the audio port.


Alan Woodward
Alan began as a physicist. However, he developed an interest in computing early on through signal processing for gamma ray burst detectors, and so switched to engineering after his BSc. His post graduate research at the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR), University of Southampton, was in adaptive filtering, and novel methods of recovering corrupted signals. Alan also worked on novel methods of noise cancellation, both passive and active. After leaving the ISVR Alan worked for the UK government for many years, for whom he still provides advice through his industrial activities. He has particular expertise in, and continues to conduct research into, cyber security, covert communications, forensic computing and image/signal processing. Alan has been involved in some of the most significant advances in computer technology which have seen him elected as a Fellow and chartered member of the British Computer Society, Institute of Physics and the Royal Statistical Society.
Doug Carson
Solutions Consultant, Keysight Technologies
Doug Carson is a Solutions Consultant working for Keysight Technologies’ Signal Network Division in Edinburgh. During his career he has architected measurement and processing solutions for leading edge telecoms technologies such as SS7 intelligent networks, voice over packet, 3G & 4G radio access networks and recently, network function virtualization. He is currently conducting research into cyber threat detection and forensic analysis using signal processing techniques in conjunction with Keysight test equipment. He holds nine patents in network protocol processing and correlation techniques.
Owen Lo
Research Fellow
Owen Lo received a BEng (2010) degree in Computer Networks and Distributed Systems from Edinburgh Napier University, and, more recently, was also awarded a PhD (2015) degree in health informatics from the same institute. Currently he is a Research Fellow of Centre for Distributed Computing, Networking and Security at Edinburgh Napier University. Owen has contributed to numerous research projects during his time at Edinburgh Napier University including evaluation of a cloud-based e-Health platform (Cloud4Health), implementation of a data governance engine (, evaluation of an Anonymised, Distributed, e-Commerce Architecture (ADeCA) and development of digital forensic investigation tools (Fragment Finder). His current research area is on side-channel attacks which is a technique used to attack a cryptographic system by monitoring the physical outputs of the system. Additionally, he is involved in the spin-out project named Fragment Finder which aims to develop a suite of digital investigation tools to enable rapid detection of contraband data.
Bill Buchanan
Bill Buchanan is a Professor in the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University, and a Fellow of the BCS and the IET. He currently leads The Cyber Academy ( and the Centre for Distributed Computing, Networks, and Security, and works in the areas of security, Cloud Security, Web-based infrastructures, e-Crime, cryptograph, triage, intrusion detection systems, digital forensics, mobile computing, agent-based systems, and security risk. Bill has one of the most extensive academic sites in the World (, and is involved in many areas of novel research and teaching in computing. He has published over 27 academic books, and over 250 academic research papers, along with several awards for excellence in knowledge transfer, and for teaching, such as winning at the Edinburgh Napier University Student Excellence awards in 2011, 2014 and 2015. Bill has an extensive track record for public engagement and social media and was included in the JISC Top 50 Higher Education Social Media Influencers in 2015.
Lynn Crawford
Manager, The Cyber Academy
Lynn has a Degree in Business Management and over 15 years experience managing projects and leading Customer Service and Investment teams in the Finance Industry. Her most recent roles as Funding Executive and Business Development Executive within Higher Education Institutes compliment the Cyber Academy team. Lynn’s experience and expertise support her current work; integrating industry, law enforcement and academia through Event Management, Training and Managing EU Projects.

Partners and Supporters

The conference is in collaboration with BCS Edinburgh and Taylor & Francis.

Additional sponsorship is provided by Farrpoint, with the CTF prize provided by IBM.

The Conference will be live streamed.


If you want to book a ticket, you can do it here:

If you want to pre-register yourself (or team) for the Crypto CTF, you can do it here: