Menu Close

The HAIC public outreach initiative aims to make information security more accessible to a broader audience. As part of this initiative, are organizing HAIC Talks, a series of public lectures on contemporary topics in information security. In the style of studia generalia, these lectures are free and open to everyone. No background knowledge in information security is required. HAIC Talks are made possible through the generous support of the Aalto University School of Science.

Sign-up for our HAIC Talks mailing list to hear about future events.

February 6, 2019: Bitcoin, Blockchains and Smart Contracts: Understanding the Crypto in Cryptocurrencies – with Colin Boyd

Description: Cryptocurrencies and blockchains are the most widely publicized applications of cryptography today. Using the example of Bitcoin, we will aim to understand the cryptographic building blocks of cryptocurrencies and how they fit together to enable a distributed payment system. We will then explore why newer cryptocurrencies built on Bitcoin employ more advanced cryptography. In particular we will examine the contentious issue of anonymous payments. Finally we will discuss the concept of smart contracts, how they can be achieved using blockchains, and what kinds of applications they may be useful for.

About the speaker: Colin Boyd completed a Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1995 from the University of Warwick, UK. After 5 years at British Telecom Research Laboratories, where he first became interested in cryptography and information security, he started an academic career at University of Manchester. In 1995 he emigrated to Australia and spent 18 years at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). During this time he became Research Director at the QUT Information Security Institute. In 2013 he returned to Europe, taking up a position as Professor in Information Security at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). His main research interests are in cryptographic protocols, including key exchange, payment systems and voting.

Venue: Lumituuli Auditorium, Dipoli, Otakaari 24, 02150 Espoo.

Time: 17:30 – 18:30 (coffee and buns served from 16:30). The lecture will be approximately 45 minutes, after which there will be time for questions.

Registration: HAIC Talks are open to everyone and free of charge but we ask you to register for the event.

November 2, 2018: Cybercrime in the Sky – with Alice Hutchings

Description: Every day, hundreds of people fly on airline tickets that have been obtained fraudulently, and much of this is facilitated by cybercrime. I will use this example to explore cybercrime in more depth, and understand its real-world impacts.  I will explore the trade in these tickets, drawing on interviews with industry and law enforcement, and an analysis of an online blackmarket. Tickets are purchased by complicit travellers or resellers from the online blackmarket. Victim travellers obtain tickets from fake travel agencies or malicious insiders. Compromised credit cards used to be the main method to purchase tickets illegitimately. However, as fraud detection systems improved, offenders displaced to other methods, including compromised loyalty point accounts, phishing, and compromised business accounts. In addition to complicit and victim travellers, fraudulently obtained tickets are used for transporting mules, and for trafficking and smuggling. I will identify the difficulties faced by law enforcement with identifying those who are complicit in this trade. I will also outline potential interventions, aimed at the act, the actor, and the marketplace, with the goal of preventing and disrupting this crime type.

About the speaker: Alice Hutchings is a University Lecturer in the Security Group at the Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge. She is also part of the Cambridge Cybercrime Centre, an interdisciplinary initiative combining expertise from computer science, criminology, and law. Specialising in cybercrime, she bridges the gap between criminology and computer science. Generally, her research interests include understanding cybercrime offenders, cybercrime events, and the prevention and disruption of online crime.

Venue: Lumituuli Auditorium, Dipoli, Otakaari 24, 02150 Espoo.

Time: 17:00 – 18:30 (coffee and buns served from 16:30). The lecture will be approximately 45 minutes, after which there will be time for questions.

Registration: HAIC Talks are open to everyone and free of charge but we ask you to register for the event.

October 9, 2018: Hard Problems for Cryptography: From Factoring to Sudoku – with Chris Brzuska


Description: Cryptographers use hard problems to construct unbreakable encryption schemes, pseudorandom number generators and more. A typical example is the factoring of large numbers, i.e., we learn in primary school how to multiply numbers, but given a large number, even supercomputers struggle to take it apart into its prime factors.

In the talk, we will see the diversity of hard problems that are candidates for secure cryptography, ranging from factoring to sudoku.

About the speaker: Christopher Brzuska is a faculty member at the departments computer science and mathematics and systems analysis at Aalto University. His research area is cryptography and his activities range from investigating secure payment to generating numbers that look random although they are actually not.

Brzuska studied mathematics in Duisburg-Essen, Bordeaux and Darmstadt, holds a PhD from the computer science department at TU Darmstadt and worked as a post-doctoral researcher at Tel-Aviv University and Microsoft Research Cambridge. He was an assistant professor for IT Security Analysis at TU Hamburg where he closely collaborated with NXP Semiconductors.

Venue: Lumituuli Auditorium, Dipoli, Otakaari 24, 02150 Espoo.

Time: 17:45 – 19:15 (doors open at 17:30). The lecture will be approximately 45 minutes, after which there will be time for questions.

Registration: HAIC Talks are open to everyone and free of charge but we ask you to register for the event.

June 20, 2018: Science of Security—Theory vs. Measuring the Observable World – with Paul van Oorschot


Lecture description: Recent years have seen increasing calls to make security research more “scientific”. Who can argue with science being desirable? But what exactly do people mean when they suggest this, and what are they really seeking? What would a “Science of Security” look like? We consider these questions, in the context of historical science and more recent security research, offer observations and insights, and suggest where things might be improved.

About the speaker: Paul Van Oorschot is a Professor of Computer Science at Carleton University in Ottawa, where he has been Canada Research Chair since 2002, following 14-years in industry at Bell-Northern Research and related companies. He is an ACM Fellow and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He was Program Chair of USENIX Security 2008 and NDSS 2001-2002, and co-author of the Handbook of Applied Cryptography (1996). He has served on the editorial boards of IEEE TDSC, IEEE TIFS, and ACM TISSEC. His research interests include authentication and identity management, computer security, Internet security, security and usability, software security, and applied cryptography.

Venue: T1 lecture hall (2nd floor), CS-building, Konemiehentie 2, 02150 Espoo.

Time: 12:00-13:30. The lecture will be approximately one hour, after which there will be time for questions.

This HAIC Talk will open the Secure Systems Demo Day 2018. After the talk there will be other presentations, posters, and demonstrations of the research group’s recent results. Demo Day 2018 is open to everyone and free of charge. More information about the event and registration on Secure Systems Group web page.

June 19, 2018:  The Advertisement Exchange: How to Develop Agile Cryptographic Support for an Evolving Ecosystem? – with Moti Yung

Lecture description: Developing of Systems within a global infrastructure (or a cloud) has to take into account that the underlying system will evolve, new versions of software will develop, and if the system is successful then further services will be added. The development of security tools to such systems has to consider agility and scale-up of the initial design and adaptation to the evolving nature of the system. In fact, we argue that this is a basic principle in deployment of security solutions in modern global ecosystems. For example, cryptographic solutions have to be designed with extended scope in mind and with enough flexibility to allow the growing system to be able to exploit the existing cryptographic tools and methods (since a drastic change may be overly complex and will result in much development overhead).We demonstrate this “agility principle” by reviewing the development of cryptographic solution to Google’s global Advertisement Exchange (ADX), which is the system managing auctions for placing banner ads throughout the Internet.

About the speaker: Moti Yung is a Security and Privacy Scientist with a main interest in Cryptography: its Theory and its Real life Applications. He graduated from Columbia University in 1988 and is an adjunct senior research faculty at Columbia till today. In parallel he has had an industrial research career working at places like IBM, RSA Labs. (EMC), Google, and Snap. Yung is a fellow of ACM, of IEEE, of the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR) and the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science (EATCS). Among his awards are ACM’s SIGSAC Outstanding Innovation Award in 2014, and 2018 IEEE Computer Society W. Wallace McDowell Award. His research covers broad areas: from the theory and foundations, to applied systems, and actual engineering efforts of cryptography and secure systems.

Venue: Lumituuli Auditorium, Dipoli, Otakaari 24, 02150, Espoo.

Time: 18:00 – 19:30 (doors open at 17:30). The lecture will be approximately 60 minutes, after which there will be time for questions.

Registration: HAIC Talks are open to everyone and free of charge but we ask you to register for the event.

February 22, 2018: Recent Trends in Cybercrime – with Yves Vandermeer

Lecture description: Cybersecurity is a trending topic nowadays, but what about Cyber crime, Dark markets, and Crypto currencies? Who are the cyber criminals, how are they organised, what tools do they use, and how do they choose their victims? Are we all targeted or are some of us more vulnerable? And finally, what is being done by law enforcement?

About the speaker: Yves Vandermeer holds an MSc in Computer Forensics, and has 20 years experience in law enforcement as a computer crime and computer forensics practitioner. Since 2017, he has been working for the Norwegian Police University College where he carries out research on file systems forensics, live data and network forensics. His focus is on delivering knowledge and tools to law enforcement practitioners and improving computer crime fighting and computer forensics handling. As chairman of the European Cybercrime Training and Education Group, Yves promotes cooperation between Academic and LEA worlds, bringing topic experts together to raise expertise and address identified cyber training needs.

Venue: Lumituuli Auditorium, Dipoli, Otakaari 24, 02150, Espoo.

Time: 18:00 – 19:30 (doors open at 17:30). The lecture will be approximately 45 minutes, after which there will be time for questions.

Press: Yves Vandermeer was also interviewed by Helsingin Sanomat (only in Finnish):

February 22: Introduction of HAIC Talks:

For further information, please contact:

Dr Mohit Sethi
Deputy Director of HAIC, Head of HAIC public outreach program

Sign-up for our HAIC Talks mailing list to hear about future events.