Crypto 2017: Conference on Ransomware, Cryptography and Pseudo-Identity

Conference Details

Date: Wednesday 29 March 2017, 1:00pm – 4.30pm

Venue: Craiglockhart Campus, Edinburgh

Cost: Free event


You can book for the event here:



Within 2016, The Cyber Academy ran a conference on Cryptography. This year’s event adds the important areas for blockchain and pseudo-ID to the scope of the conference.

Overall, cryptography is one of the most challenging areas within IT, and its usage causes many problems for companies and investigators, but it is also a protector of the rights of privacy. With GDPR coming up in 2018, the usage of cryptography and pseudo-IDs will come to the fore, and companies must understand how to best protect their customer’s data.

1:00-1:30pm Registration  and Networking:  Foyer
1:30pm Lindsay Stewart Lecture Theatre
1:30-2:30pm Key Note: Quantum Key Distribution: A gentle introduction Professor Alan Woodward.  The potential arrival of quantum computers poses a threat to the most common public key encryption system in use today. However, quantum principles can be employed to create systems that allow theoretically secure key exchange schemes. In this talk we give a gentle introduction to how and why quantum key distribution works, plus we explore some of the implementation difficulties and how they affect the security of the schemes. Practical schemes are described and some of the exciting, near developments in the field are described. The talk hopes to equip the audience to consider the question of whether quantum based encryption schemes are the answer to the threat posed by quantum computers.
2:30-3:15pm Issues in Crypto and Wi-fi Crypto Cracking Professor Bill Buchanan. This presentation has two main parts. The first will outline the challenges of cryptography and pseudo-IDs, and the second part will give a live demonstration of cracking the four-way handshake used in WPA-2.
3:15-3:30pm Refreshments: Foyer
3:30 pm
Lindsay Stewart Lecture Theatre
3:30-4:00 pm Performing data science peer to peer, James Littlejohn. How the use of decentralised storage, smart contracts and blockchain can keep customer data secure and produce an automatic audit trail for managing and performing predictive analytics.
4:00-4:30pm Revealing encryption methods using side channel analysis, Dr Owen Lo, Doug Carson.

Sponsored by



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.

Last year

Here is Alan presenting at last year’s conference: