Cellular Automata (CA) represent an interesting medium for implementing cryptographic primitives and protocols, due to their massive parallelism. The aim of this talk is to survey two research topics on the cryptographic applications of CA, along with some related open problems. The first topic is about employing CA for the construction of plateaued and bent Boolean functions, which have several applications in the design of stream and block ciphers. The second topic considers how CA can be used to design key pre-distribution schemes, a kind of cryptographic protocols that play an important role in the secure deployment of wireless sensor networks. Beside presenting the current state of knowledge, for both research tracks I will present some open problems and conjectures, and show how Evolutionary Computing (EC) algorithms can help to verify them.
NOTE: this talk has also been given on June 22, 2018 at AUTOMATA 2018 in Ghent, Belgium.