Dr Leonie Simpson
Faculty of Science,
School of Computer Science
BiographyDr Leonie Simpson is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Computer Science, within the Faculty of Science. She is a cryptographer with a passion for information security, particularly the application of cryptography in control measures to provide confidentiality, integrity assurance and authentication, and the management of cryptographic keys. She is interested in exploring broader issues of information security management, that enable individuals and organisations to use information in secure ways.
Leonie's doctoral thesis (QUT, 2000) examined the design and analysis of certain types of stream ciphers. However, her research interests have broadened and include the design and analysis of symmetric encryption algorithms, particularly those used for real-time communications (such as phone and internet transmissions) and the associated key management.
She is particularly interested in:
- encryption algorithms to secure communications between small devices in the Internet of Things (IoT)
- investigating the security and efficiency of authenticated encryption algorithms, and security-efficiency trade-offs
- the application of Boolean functions in cipher design to provide cyber attack resistance
- information security management and threat information sharing
Over the past 20 years, Leonie has published 60 articles and three book chapters on the analysis and design of symmetric ciphers. Her analysis and design experience covers a range of aspects, including knowledge of many types of cryptanalytic attack and the relationship between the structural features of a design and both the vulnerability to various attacks and the efficiency of operation.
- Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Science,
School of Computer Science
Information Security, Cryptography, Symmetric Encryption, Stream Ciphers, Block Ciphers, Authenticated Encryption, Authenticated Encryption with Associated Data, Key Derivation Functions, Cryptanalysis, Communications Security
Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008
- PhD (Queensland University of Technology)
- BAppSc(Hons) (Queensland University of Technology)
- BA (University of Queensland)
- DipTeach(Secondary) (Brisbane College of Adv. Ed.)
Professional memberships and associations
- International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR)
- Australian Mathematical Society (AustMS)
- Australian Information Security Association (AISA)
Leonie is a Senior Lecturer and is currently the unit coordinator for the following QUT units:
- IFN541 Information Security Management (Semester 1)
- Postgraduate unit, around 35 students enrolled
- CAB240 Information Security (Semester 2)
- Undergraduate unit, around 530 students enrolled
During her time at QUT, Leonie has supervised ten PhD students to completion and one Masters by Research student to completion.
She is currently supervising four PhD students and one Masters by research student in the areas of:
- Cryptographic applications of Boolean functions
- Applying cryptography to secure vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications
- Cybersecurity information sharing
- Cyber resilience in rapidly changing environments
- Authentication in industrial control systems
Dr Simpson is currently the Theme Leader for Theme 1.1 Resilient Systems, in the Cyber Security CRC, and is Project Lead for a Research project within this theme: Using Metadata Analysis to Detect Anomalies in Key Management Activities.
Dr Simpson was part of a team, along with Prof Ed Dawson (QUT) and Prof Lynn Batten (Deakin), for an Australian Research Council (ARC) project titled ‘Efficient and Secure Word-based Stream Ciphers for Wireless Encryption’. Project funding $150,000 over 3 years.
Dr Simpson was a team member in other funded research projects in the more general field of information security:
- CRC Smart Services Information Queensland – Aggregation of geospatial information ($212,500)
- CRC SIT IE 12 – Legal and technical security framework across multi-agency information repositories ($327,000).
Dr Simpson has, in a team with other QUT researchers, been consulted to perform security analysis of symmetric cryptographic algorithms for several organisations ($18,000 in 2004, $9,500 in 2017), and in 2008-2009 was consulted as an expert witness for a Federal Court case involving the application of cryptographic algorithms for telecommunications, producing a report detailing the processes involved with the transmission of encoded and encrypted information.
Editorial board membership
Dr Simpson is an active editorial board member of an international peer-reviewed open access journal: Cryptography. http://www.mdpi.com/journal/cryptography. First edition online in June 2017.
Dr Simpson’s other academic experience includes acting as a referee for a number of journals, and a reviewer for national and international conferences, including:
- Bulletin of the Australian Mathematical Society
- Designs, Codes and Cryptography
- IEE Electronics Letters
- IEEE Communications Letters
- Journal of Mathematical Cryptography
- Advances in Cryptology - ASIACRYPT
- Applied Algebra, Algebraic Algorithms and Error Correcting Codes
- Australasian Conference on Information Security and Privacy – ACISP
- CRYPTO 2017
Dr Simpson has been a member of conference committees, including:
- Organising Committee for Active Media Technology AMT06, Brisbane 7-9 June 2006
- Organising Committee for Sequences and Their Application (SETA 2014) – Melbourne, November 2014.
- Program Committee for Australasian Conference on Information Security and Privacy (ACISP) - 2011, 2013, 2015, 2018, 2019.
- Program Co-chair for ACISP 2013 – Brisbane, 1-3 July 2013.
- Program Committee for Australasian Computer Science Week Conference – Health Information Knowledge Management (HIKM) Conference - 2018, 2019.
- Program Committee for SAC2019.
- Al Hamdan A, Bartlett H, Dawson E, Simpson L, Wong K, (2014) Weak key-IV pairs in the A5/1 stream cipher, Proceedings of the Twelfth Australasian Information Security Conference (AISC 2014) [Conferences in Research and Practice in Information Technology, Volume 149] p23
- Bartlett H, Al Hamdan A, Simpson L, Dawson E, Wong K, (2014) Weaknesses in the initialisation process of the Common Scrambling Algorithm Stream Cipher, Sequences and Their Applications - SETA 2014: th International Conference, Proceedings [Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 8865] p220
- Al Mashrafi M, Bartlett H, Dawson E, Simpson L, Wong K, (2013) Indirect message injection for MAC generation, Journal of Mathematical Cryptology, 7 (3) p253
- Chuah C, Dawson E, Simpson L, (2013) Key derivation function: The SCKDF Scheme, Security and Privacy Protection in Information Processing Systems: 28th IFIP TC 11 International Conference Proceedings [IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, Volume 405] p125
- Sahama T, Simpson L, Lane B, (2013) Security and privacy in eHealth: is it possible? A sociotechnical analysis, Proceedings of the 2013 IEEE 15th International Conference on e-Health Networking, Applications and Services (Healthcom 2013) p249
- Simpson L, Boztas S, (2012) State cycles, initialization and the Trivium stream cipher, Cryptography and Communications, 4 (3-4) p245
- Simpson L, Henricksen M, Yap W, (2009) Improved cryptanalysis of the common scrambling algorithm stream cipher, Information Security and Privacy: 14th Australasian Conference, ACISP 2009 Proceedings [Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 5594] p108
- Al Hinai S, Dawson E, Henricksen M, Simpson L, (2007) On the Security of the LILI Family of Stream Ciphers Against Algebraic Attacks, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 4586 () p11
- Chen K, Henricksen M, Millan W, Fuller J, Simpson L, Dawson E, Lee H, Moon S, (2005) Dragon: A Fast Word Based Stream Cipher, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 3506 () p33
- Simpson L, Dawson E, Millan W, Golic J, (2001) LILI Keystream Generator, Selected Areas of Cryptography, SAC 2000 p248
- Sequences for cryptography and communications
PhD, Associate Supervisor
Other supervisors: Dr Harry Bartlett
- Improving Authentication and Key Management in Inter- and Intra-Vehicle Communications
PhD, Principal Supervisor
Other supervisors: Adjunct Associate Professor Ernest Foo, Adjunct Professor Josef Pieprzyk, Dr Matthew McKague
- Developing a National Cybersecurity Information Sharing Framework
PhD, Principal Supervisor
Other supervisors: Dr Hasmukh Morarji
Completed supervisions (Doctorate)
- Analysis of Authenticated Encryption Based on Stream Ciphers (2018)
- Analysis of Selected Block Cipher Modes for Authenticated Encryption (2018)
- Designing and Implementing an Information Accountability Framework for Usable and Useful eHealth Systems (2017)
- Key Derivation Function Based on Stream Ciphers (2014)
- Secure Stream Cipher Initialisation Processes (2014)
- Analysis of Nonlinear Sequences and Stream Ciphers (2013)
- Analysis of Stream Cipher Based Authenticated Encryption Schemes (2012)
- Analysis of Linear Relationships in Block Ciphers (2010)
- Algebraic Attacks on Clock-Controlled Stream Ciphers (2007)
- Design, Implementation and Cryptanalysis of Modern Symmetric Ciphers (2005)