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hull&trail


o p e n   s e s a m e

From ideas brewed in the corner nook of an Appalachian coffee shop in 2008, hull&trail is a small batch field atlas that explores the design of cryptographic round functions — the meat of block ciphers — from the perspective of biomechanics, social anthropology, industrial design, communication theory, intelligence gathering, privacy engineering, and basketball.

hull&trail navigates the composite of cryptography + user experience, or crux, examining algorithmic function through aesthetic (elegance) and athletic (efficiency) form, to appreciate cryptography as a fishplate for bonding privacy with persons in a sociotechnical landscape — prepared and served as a concise bento box of original publications, fireside conversations, immersive storytelling, and interactive tradecraft simulations.

Our first offering is springmaus, a new bantamweight teaching cipher for the classroom; it's built around a simple primitive known as a flexbox, an ARX-based Lai-Massey structure designed for operational agility and fast diffusion. Inspired by the biomechanics of predator evasion trajectories in jerboas, and the impact attenuation and energy return properties of air and foam cushioning compositions in basketball shoes. Coming November 2021.