Wednesday, May 15, 2019

International Cryptographic Module Conference 2019 in Vancouver, Canada

After a day of pre-conference workshops, the 7th International Cryptographic Module Conference (ICMC) was kicked off this morning with a welcome address from atsec's VP and Lab Director Yi Mao.

(from left to right: Renaudt Nunez, Stephan Mueller, Fiona Pattinson, Swapneela Unkule, Yi Mao)

 Yi Mao's Opening Speech for the ICMC 2019:

"Good morning everyone!

Welcome to the 2019 International Cryptographic Module Conference! This is the 7th ICMC. It’s a great honor to announce the opening of this exciting conference. This is the first time that the conference is hosted on the west coast, to attract more attendees from the Eastern Hemisphere.
This year we have roughly 350 attendees coming from 24 countries. This conference offers 95 presentations by 115 expert speakers. They are scheduled in six pre-conference workshops and continued through the upcoming three-day conference covering ten content tracks. They range from Certification Programs, General Technology, Post-Quantum Crypto, Embedded Crypto, to Random Bit Generators, Open Source Crypto, Advanced Technology, Attacks to Crypto Modules, End User Experience, and the Crypto Enterprise Showcase.

The ICMC has been a wonderful annual gathering platform for the CMVP, labs, vendors, researchers, and users where we share our passion for cryptography, discuss challenging problems, and work together to find sensible solutions. 

For people who have been attending the ICMC in the past few years, this is a re-union event we look forward to. For our new friends, congratulations on your first exciting step into the cryptographic module validation community. 

Before the ICMC era, like many CST lab managers, I was often under a huge pressure to meet the CMVP’s requirements without having an upset vendor. A validation project often turned into a battle field where the CMVP demands and the vendor fights back. ICMC has been and is instrumental to brings experts and practitioners together to listen and to be heard. The open dialogs help each other to understand multiple parties’ different viewpoints and unify the community.

At the ICMC, we have started lively discussions on several important Implementation Guidance (IGs), as well as initiated the Crypto Module User Forum (CMUF) monthly meetings and many of its working groups. In a few minutes, you will hear key updates on the status of the CMUF. What starts at the ICMC is carried on throughout the year in our daily work until we gather together again to report on our work and congratulate each other’s achievements.

Entropy sources and the related IGs is one of the key discussion topics at the ICMC. IG 7.18 was just published last week to enforce NISP SP 800-90B compliance. It will co-exist with IG 7.15 for the next eighteen months and will then replace it. IG 7.14 remains to be valid.

FIPS 140-3 has long been expected. Back in 2016, we even had a “presidential level debate” on whether or not to adopt ISO/IEC 19790, and the majority of conference attendees voted for the adoption for FIPS 140-3. The very recent announcement of FIPS 140-3 on May 1 in the Federal Registry Notice proves that the voice of this conference is valuable to the decision makers.

As the ICMC continues on in many years to come, I have no doubt that not far from now FIPS modules will be in the cloud, because we are starting to take on this challenge at this conference.
Last but not least, NIST is ready to switch from the CAVS Tool to an Automated Crypto Validation Protocol (ACVP) for algorithm testing. It is a small step for all of us to adopt this change. It is a giant leap for NIST and the CMVP. This year’s conference clip is dedicated to those who contributed to achieving this significant milestone.

We’re in May, and Christmas is still far away, but everyday can be a Cryptomas day!

A group of dedicated hard-working professionals made such a rich conference program possible. Our big thanks go out to the conference committee especially chairs:

Program committee

  • Michael Angelo, Micro Focus
  • Joshua Brickman, Oracle Inc.
  • Erin Connor (Chair)
  • Fabien Deboyser, UL
  • Valerie Fenwick, Intel
  • Shawn Geddis, Apple Inc.
  • Ryan Hill, atsec (Chair)
  • Tim Hudson, Cryptsoft Pty ltd (Chair)
  • Laurie Mack, Gemalto
  • Michele Mosca, University of Waterloo
  • Seth Nielson, Johns Hopkins University
  • Fiona Pattinson, atsec (Chair Emeritus)
  • Nithya Rachamadugu, Cygnacom (Chair)
  • Rich Salz, Akamai
  • Mike Scanlin, NetApp
  • Loren Shade, Allegro Software (Chair)
  • Marcus Streets, Arm (Chair)
  • Lachlan Turner, Lightship Security (Chair)
  • Ashit Vora, Acumen Security
  • Steve Weingart, Highland Tech LLC (Chair)
  • William Whyte, Security Innovation
  • Brian Wood, Samsung Electronics
Conference Production Management
  • Bill Rutledge (Project Director)
  • Jose Ruiz (Program Director)
  • Nikki Principe (Operations Manger)
  • Carrie Chu (Marketing and Operations Coordinator)
This year is special. Fiona is back at the ICMC. Fiona and atsec planted a seed in 2013 and it has been blooming once a year ever since. What an amazing accomplishment!

I’d also like to thank sponsors, exhibitors, speakers and participants. Enjoy the conference and your stay at Vancouver!"

More information about the conference running from May 14th to May 17th at the JW Marriott Parq in Vancouver, Canada can be found here:

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