Tom Chothia

School of Computer Science
Univ. of Birmingham
Email:T.Chothia (a)

I am a lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Birmingham.


Some of my research includes:

  • Statistics and Information Theory:
  • Statistical Measurement of Information Leakage with Konstantinos Chatzikokolakis and Apratim Guha (TACAS 2010). There is a video of my giving a talk about this work at the 5th CREST workshop here. Slides from a presentation on this work at PLID 09 are here The full proofs for this paper are contained in:
  • Calculation of Probabilistic Anonymity from Sampled Data with Konstantinos Chatzikokolakis and Apratim Guha (University of Birmingham Technical Report, 2009, CSR-09-10).
  • Tools and example files can be found here
  • e-Passport Security The Basic Access Control (BAC) protocol, as used in e-Passports, is flawed. It is vulnerable to a replay attack that makes it possible to trace a passport. Details are available in the paper:
  • A Traceability Attack Against e-Passports, Tom Chothia and Vitaliy Smirnov, 14th International Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security 2010. There is some press coverage of this work here, here and here.
  • Traceability Attacks:
  • Analysing Unlinkability and Anonymity Using the Applied Pi Calculus with Myrto Arapinis, Eike Ritter and Mark Ryan. 23rd Computer Security Foundations Symposium CSF 2010.
  • A Traceability Attack Against e-Passports with Vitaliy Smirnov. 14th International Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security 2010
  • Untraceability in the Applied Pi-calculus with Myrto Arapinis, Eike Ritter and Mark Ryan. RISC09

  • Anonymity:
  • Analysis of the MUTE anonymous file-sharing system:
  • Analysing the MUTE Anonymous File-Sharing System Using the Pi-calculus , Slides. FORTE 06
  • Securing Pseudo Identities in an Anonymous Peer-to-Peer File-Sharing Network Securecomm 07
  • A Framework for Automatically Checking Anonymity with mCRL with Simona Orzan, Jun Pang, and Muhammad Torabi Dashti. TGC06
  • A Survey of Anonymous Peer-to-Peer File-Sharing with Kostas Chatzikokolakis .

  • Type systems and encryption for access control:
  • Type-Based Distributed Access Control with Dominic Duggan and Jan Vitek, Slides.
  • Typed-based Access Control vs. Untyped Attackers..

  • Distributed systems:
  • A Trusted Infrastructure for P2P-Based Marketplaces with Tien Tuan Anh Dinh and Mark Ryan. P2P09, short paper.
  • Capability-Passing Processes with Dominic Duggan
  • Abstractions for fault-tolerant global computing. with Dominic Duggan
  • A pcap malware analysis tool, developed by Daniel Botterill can be found here
  • For a full list of publication and venues see DBLP page.

  • 2010: Computer Security and Internet Computing Workshop.
  • 2009: Internet Computing Workshop and Internet Security Seminar.
  • 2008: Security Java Workshop & Team Java
  • 2007: Modelling and Analysis of Security Protocols
  • Project ideas can be found here. The students who I supervise are part of a good tradition; see my academic genealogy for details.

    Past Work
  • I was a researcher at CWI in Amsterdam.
  • I did a Post Doc at The Ecole Polytechnique.
  • and before that I did another Post Doc at Stevens Institute of Technology.
  • I did my PhD at the University of Edinburgh. The ability to call local resources with uniform commands is fundamental to mobile computation. This led me to investigate a notion of binding a channel so that it has a number of mutually exclusive local areas. Communication on the channel is then allowed inside these areas but not between then. I have developed a boxed pi-calculus called the local area calculus that captures this notion.
  • I worked on a gene finder for the Human genome project . The results are published as:

  • K.L. Howe, T. Chothia and R. Durbin. GAZE: a generic framework for the integration of gene prediction data by dynamic programming (pdf). Genome Research 2002, vol. 12(9) pages 1418-1427.

  • and details can be found here. This work also lead to me being one of the 1000 plus, listed authors of:

  • International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium. 2001. Initial sequencing and analysis of the human genome. Nature 409, 6822, 860--921.