Mackerel: A Progressive School of Cryptographic Thought
Justin Troutman and Vincent Rijmen
Cryptography is hard, but it’s the easy part. It’s an entanglement of algorithms and assumptions that only a cryptographer would find poetic, and we’re at a point where strong cryptography is arguably the most robust aspect of a system’s security and privacy posture. To a consumer, however, cryptography is still an esoteric sort of black magic whose benefits are out of reach. Developers: If you feel we’ve dropped the ball on safely implementing cryptography—which we have, and horribly so—this doesn’t hold a candle to how pitifully we’ve failed at interfacing the benefits of cryptography to consumers. Our contribution to potentially solving this problem, dubbed Mackerel, is a design and development framework for developers that’s based on the premise that real-world cryptography is not about cryptography; it’s about products.