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Lysyanskaya.jpgAnna Lysyanskaya

Anna Lysyanskaya was recently awarded a Google Faculty Research Award in the amount of $43,000 to fund research on the applications of cryptography in the cloud to obtain a single password.

The funding will be used study password-authenticated secret sharing that allows users to distribute data among several servers so that the data can be recovered using a single human-memorizable password. No single server (or even no group of servers up to a certain size) can mount an off-line dictionary attack on the password or learn anything about the data. This is because no server possesses the information needed for the dictionary attack: only when all the servers cooperate in an online attempt at retrieving the user’s data can they discover whether a submitted password guess was correct.

Lysyanskaya is excited that Google was interested in this work, because she is optimistic that this interest will lead to practical impact.