Available Master Projects

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Master Project topics for Uni.lu and Erasmus students

We are looking for capable students who would like to do their master/bachelor thesis or a semester project. Below is the list of open topics. Student jobs related to these projects are also available upon request. These projects can be done also in collaboration with external university. Foreign students may look for financial support from Erasmus Mundus programme.

  • Proof-of-Work as Anonymous Micropayment

This project is to implement Proof-of-Work as a way for micropayment. This can be done on example of Tor relays proving extended services to clients who mine alt-currencies. This can be also done for news-websites and other cases. In case of Tor, clients do not pay Tor relays with electronic cash directly but submit proof of work shares which the relays can either resubmit to a crypto-currency mining pool or become mining pools by themselves. Relays credit users who submit shares with tickets that can later be used to purchase improved service.

Contact: Alex Biryukov and Ivan Pustogarov

  • Efficient Code Obfuscator

Code obfuscation is an important research area, which studies our ability to detect similarities between different computer programs and on the other hand our ability to hide such similarity or functionality. Important applications are for the areas of white-box cryptography, malware classification and reverse-engineering, as well as intellectual property rights for software.

The goal of this project is to produce a code-obfuscation tool that defeats popular graph-based static analysis tools and emulators, while still having reasonable impact on the performance of the underlying program.

Contact: Alex Biryukov and Ralf-Philipp Weinmann

  • Anonymity, Privacy and Digital Currencies

This topic deals with anonymity and privacy on the Internet, as well as with digital currencies such as Bitcoin.

Contact: Alex Biryukov

  • Side channel analysis and fault attacks on embedded devices

This is an internship project in a Dutch company Riscure.

The project will be available starting from November 2013.

Contact: Ilya Kizhvatov and Alex Biryukov

  • Cryptanalysis of Lightweight Primitives

Lightweight cryptography is about design and analysis of cryptographic primitives for constrained devices such as sensor networks, RFID, microcontrollers, etc. This area is very challenging due to physical limitations that are imposed by some hardware devices and usage scenarios: very small memory, very small footprint, extended battery life and very low power consumption. This topic is currently a very active research area with many new designs available for analysis. The goal of this projects is to cryptanalyse some of the recently proposed primitives.

Contact: Alex Biryukov

  • Lightweight Cryptography for Wireless Sensor Networks

A Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) is a network consisting of a (potentially very large) number of autonomous devices, so-called motes, which are deployed in the environment to cooperatively monitor physical conditions. In fact, WSNs are a prime example of what is often referred to by such buzz phrases like "pervasive computing," "smart dust," or the "internet of things". The magazine Technology Review listed WSNs among 10 emerging technologies that will change the world. Today, WSNs play a vital role in a multitude of applications ranging from environmental surveillance over medical monitoring to home automation.

Security and privacy issues pose a big challenge for the widespread adoption of WSN technology in certain application domains such as health care, traffic control, or disaster detection. The goal of this project is to design lightweight key agreement and authentication schemes based on elliptic curve cryptography, and to implement and evaluate these schemes in a small network of MICA motes.

Contact: Johann Großschädl

  • Trusted Computing in Mobile Devices

Trusted computing is an industry initiative to make commodity computer platforms more secure against software attacks. A core component of trusted computing is the Trusted Platform Module (TPM), a microchip that provides certain security-related services and acts as a "root of trust" for the platform. The exact functionality of a TPM is specified by the Trusted Computing Group (TCG), an industry consortium comprising all major hardware and software vendors (Microsoft, Intel, IBM, etc). The current version of the TCG specification mandates the use of RSA for the generation/verification of digital signatures. Recently, the TCG released a set of specifications for trusted computing on mobile devices (e.g. cell phones, PDAs), which explicitly permits the implementation of TPM functionality in software.

The goal of this project is to design and implement a software-TPM that uses elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) instead of RSA, and to evaluate this ECC-based TPM regarding performance and memory footprint. The TPM Emulator for Linux can be used as a starting point for this project.

Contact: Johann Großschädl

  • Cryptanalysis of the Swiss NEMA Cipher machine
NEMA rotors

Swiss NEMA cipher machine is a 10-wheel rotor machine designed by the Swiss Army during World War II as a replacement for their Enigma machines. The design of this machine was declassified in 1992, however no public cryptanalysis better than exhaustive search is currently available.

The goal of this project would be to study the mathematical properties of the NEMA encryption algorithm and to find faster ways to cryptanalyse the cipher. Part of the task would be to learn how to distribute the attack algorithm on a parallel cluster or on CUDA machines. Additional task could be to break some of the real-life ciphertexts for the Enigma cipher machine.

Contact: Alex Biryukov