Here’s my report from HistoCrypt 2019, which took place from June 23-26 in Mons, Belgium. It was an outstanding event.
HistoCrypt, the annual European gathering of crypto history enthusiasts, finished a few hours ago. The 2019 edition was once again a great conference with many highlights.
HistoCrypt 2019 took place in Mons, Belgium.
Belgian cryptologist Jean-Jacques Quisquater, who acted as Local Chair, did a great job in organizing this event. All talks took place in the Mundaneum, a renowned museum in the city center of Mons. There were about 50 attendants, most of which can be seen on the following picture:
One of the highlights was the speech given by Joan Daemen, one of the creators of AES (Advanced Encryption Standard). AES is currently the most important encryption algorithm worldwide, with hundreds, if not thousands of implementations. The web browser you are using to display this page uses AES, just like countless email programs, smartphones, ATMs, cars, smartcards, and USB tokens – just to name a few.
In his talk, Joan reported on the history of AES. He provided me the slides he used. They are available here for download.
Another invited talk was given by Bernard Fabrot, who was the first one to solve the LCS35 puzzle.
The following picture shows Dermot Turing, the nephew of Alan Turing.
Dermot talked about the Enigma and the Typex, a British encryption machine from World War II.
On the following picture, you might recognize Paolo Bonavoglia, a reader of this blog.
Other attendants know from this blog were George Lasry (who even gave two talks), Gerhard Strasser, Eugen Antal (he was the publication chair), Jerry McCarthy, Peter Krapp, Nils Kopal, Benedek Láng and Tom Juzek. René Zandbergen gave a very informative presentation about the Voynich Manuscript. For more information about the talks given, check the agenda.
I also gave a talk. It was about the breaking of Ernest Rinzi’s journal by blog reader Tony Gaffney. The talk was recorded on video, I will make it available on YouTube soon.
About two thirds of the talks presented belonged to the research track. All research track presenters provided a 10 pages paper about their topic. The proceedings, which include all papers, are can be downloaded her. Thank you very much to Eugen Antal for editing the proceedings, which was a tough job.
On the last day, Nils Kopal hosted a workshop about the software CrypTool 2.
Nils is the main developer of CrypTool 2. It comes as no surprise that he gave a very helpful introduction to this tool.
It goes without saying that I used the days at HistoCrypt for conversations with almost all other attendants. Many of these talks proved quite fruitful. I collected a couple of interesting topics for future blog posts.