KMi rocks at the CryptoParty

KMi researchers Pinelopi Troullinou and Allan Third were among the presenters at the first ever Milton Keynes CryptoParty, held on 10th May.

CryptoParty is a grassroots global movement which hosts free workshops to introduce practical internet security to the general public. The Milton Keynes’ public were invited bring along a smartphone or laptop (or both!) and learn the basics from the experts and other participants, listen to enlightening talks, participate in workshops, make friends and teach others.

The event was co-organised by the GirlsCode MK, The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park and The Open University’s STEM Faculty (KMi and the School of Computing and Communications).  It was hosted by MK Gallery and was completely free to attend.  Party music was provided by DJ Bod. BBC Look East came along to film and event and featured interviews with the speakers and attendees in their local news bulletins

Lead organiser, Eva Dovc said “Feedback from the audience was very positive – great talks, great workshops.  I was really pleased that people stayed on after the talks for the workshops; they were interested and taking notes – it was really fantastic to see!”

The program, which was well received, included:


– WannaCry ransomware attack
Mike Richards explained the damage caused by the WannaCry ransomware cyber attack, which had serious implications last year for the NHS and businesses around the world.

– Cambridge Analytica & Co: What is seductive surveillance
@pinelopi_tr explains why users provide ever more data on online platforms and what are the risks. She also discusses the data scientists’ responsibilities in light of Cambridge Analytica scandal.

– What are blockchains and how do they work?
@thirda explains the paradox of blockchains providing secure and trustworthy ledgers despite the fact that they’re fully open with no access control or centralized management.

– Web encryption: Ever wondered what the green padlock on a website really means?
@robinjpickering explains SSL certificates; how sites get them, and the ways they have been abused by everyone from dodgy websites through paranoid employers even rogue states. He will tell us what all this means in practice for protecting ourselves online today.


– Social media and the right to privacy
@neilnjae talks about privacy settings on mobile devices and across social media accounts

– Staying safe online
@amel_bennaceur teaches about benefits and configuration of password managers and two-factor authentication

– How to spot fake news?
@teraknor explains how the concept of fake news is not new and has been with us for a long time. Using the ‘source’ + ‘sense’ + ‘substance’ triage method he will teach us how to discern whether something is (or is not) fake news.

Planning is already underway for the second event in the Autumn.  Watch this space!

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