Hardware-entangled cryptography

13.08.2015, 15:00 – 16:30

2015/08/13 15:00-16:30

Speaker: Nikolaos Anagnostopoulos, André Schaller | Location: Mornewegstraße 32 (S4|14), Room 3.1.01, Darmstadt

Organizer: Giorgia Azzurra Marson / Nina Bindel


Hardware-entangled cryptography aims to exploit inherent characteristics of hardware that are unique to each device in order to offer cryptography solutions to applications in need of device authentication and integrity, lightweight secure storage, anti-counterfeiting and tamper-evidence methods. Hardware-entangled cryptography is strongly related to hardware “biometrics”, such as Physical Unclonable Functions (PUFs), which can be a significant component of related cryptographical protocols. Hardware-entangled cryptography relies on principles similar to the fields of biometrics, such as Physical Unclonable Functions (PUFs), which draw their security features from properties of underlying hardware components rather then theoretic hardness assumptions of traditional cryptography.

Our group's research focuses on the exploration, implementation and evaluation of such primitives and their security aspects as well the establishment of protocols and applications embedding those. Currently, we are focusing on the security of PUFs by examining software attacks against PUFs, in order to determine whether PUFs can actually serve as an acceptable security mechanism, as such attacks do not have extensive requirements and are thus accessible by inexperienced attackers.

We also present a classification scheme of the different attacks against PUFs, as well as our results regarding different attack vectors against SRAM PUFs. Finally, we present our future plans regarding research and collaborations in the field of hardware-entangled cryptography.

Short Bio

Nikolaos has been studying Computer Science since September 2014, having gained a Bachelor's degree from the Aristotles' University of Thessaloniki and two Master's degrees, one from the Technical University of Berlin and one from the University of Twente. Nikolas is interested in the physical side of hardware security and, more particularly, in the security applications of Physical Unclonable Functions (PUFs) and other physical structures with similar properties and applications. As part of his joyful employment in the research group of Prof. Dr. Stefan Katzenbeisser in the Technical University of Darmstadt, Nikolas is also working towards a ph.D. in the aforementioned fields of Computer Security.

André has gained his computer science Master's degree at the TU Darmstadt in 2012. Since then he has been working as a PhD candidate at the Security Engineering research group led by Prof. Katzenbeisser. In particular, his field of research is the development, implementation and security analysis of protocols and applications for Physically Unclonable Functions (PUFs), focussing on PUF instances that can be found in commercial off-the-shelf hardware. In this context, André was part of the successful EU FP-7 PUFFIN project.