Matt Curtin to Speak at University of Findlay

The University of Findlay will host its annual Information Assurance forum, with Matt Curtin speaking on the fall of the Data Encryption Standard, WiFi network security, and spyware.

Interhack founder Matt Curtin will present at the third annual information assurance forum at the University of Findlay on October 28, 2004. Curtin will deliver two presentations that day.

The Rise and Fall of the Data Encryption Standard

In the past fifty years, society has undergone a radical shift in the storage and processing of information, away from the physical and toward electronic representation. Important information is no longer be written on a sheet of paper and stored securely. Information necessary to care for our health, our finances, and the institutions that support society is now stored electronically, in little ones and zeroes.

In 1977, the National Bureau of Standards established a standard for the protection of digital information that became wildly successful, ultimately becoming the basis for the protection of information across the entire world. Even as the Data Encryption Standard (DES) was being evaluated, certain researchers warned that the system was susceptible to attack by “brute force,” trying every possible key.

Twenty years after the establishment of the standard, an ad-hoc group of scientists, engineers, and hobbyists linked their computers together to perform what was then probably the world's largest computation, the brute-force decryption of a message protected by the Data Encryption Standard.

Matt Curtin, one of the leaders of that effort, will discuss how DES was defeated and what it means to protect information in the post-DES world.

Wireless Security and Spyware Defenses for Small Networks

With the popularity of wireless networking and the proliferation of spyware, many small networks are finding themselves inviting targets for attackers. What can individuals and small businesses that lack the resources for a full-fledged information assurance program do to compute safely in light of these threats? We'll discuss the nature of these threats, how to prioritize them, and basic mechanisms to avoid common security problems.

About the Information Assurance Forum

The Information Assurance Forum brings together University students, faculty, administrators, and outside experts to discuss Information Assurance, discussing how to meet the demand for qualified IA professionals. A complete agenda is available.

About Interhack

Interhack is a forensic computing and information assurance firm based in Columbus, Ohio. With clients all over North America, Interhack offers Information Assurance professional services to many industries, including health care, financial services, and legal services. Interhack can be found on the web at