Bath Science Café: The challenges of web security

The next Science Café on Monday 12 November will look at the security challenges faced by us all, every day, as the result of mass use of the internet.

The talk will be delivered by Professor James Davenport from the University of Bath’s Department of Computer Science.

The world-Wide Web has gone from nothing to pervasive in just over twenty years. But how secure is it, given that we are using it from mobile ‘phones over wireless links form cafés and other public spaces?

This simple question can actually be looked at in multiple ways:

1. How secure is the communication: can a third party eavesdrop on what is being shared?

2. Is the “end” really who my ‘phone thinks it is, or am I the victim of a “man-in-the-middle” attack?

3. Is the “end” my ‘phone is talking to the entity I intend my ‘phone to be talking to?

In this talk Professor Davenport will describe the technical solutions to problems 1 and 2, and discuss the socio-technical issues behind problem 3.

Professor Davenport has been Hebron & Medlock Professor of Information Technology at the University of Bath since 1986, and in an earlier incarnation the junior programmer on the team that broke the Federal Reserve Bank code in 1982.

Professor Davenport is a member of various boards including the IMU Committee on Electronic Information and Communication, the Engineering & Science Board, and the Council of the British Computer Society. He is Director of Studies at the HPC Doctoral Taught Course Centre, and a member of the Federal Council for the International Foundation for Computational Logic.

Bath Science Cafe is a free event that takes place at The Raven in the centre of Bath at 7:30pm. For more information please visit

The official Twitter hash tag is #BathSciCafe.

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