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Ph.D. Position in Lightweight Cryptography for the Internet of Things

The Laboratory of Algorithmics, Cryptology and Security (LACS) of the University of Luxembourg is looking for a Ph.D. student in lightweight cryptography. The successful candidate will contribute to a research project entitled "Applied Cryptography for the Internet of Things (ACRYPT)", which is funded by the Fonds National de la Recherche (FNR). The ACRYPT project is led by Prof. Alex Biryukov and has started in July 2013.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is envisioned as a global network connecting billions of "smart" devices capable of creating, processing, and/or exchanging information without direct intervention of human beings. Security and privacy issues pose a significant challenge to the further expansion of the IoT and the user acceptance of numerous IoT-based applications and services. The ACRYPT project aims at securing the IoT by researching the design and implementation of lightweight cryptographic primitives for RFID tags, wireless sensor nodes, and other smart objects. ACRYPT consists of two Work Packages (WPs); the first WP is devoted to the cryptanalysis of existing lightweight algorithms (in particular block ciphers and hash functions) and the design of a novel multi-purpose cryptographic primitive. The second WP deals with the efficient and secure (i.e. side-channel resistant) implementation of lightweight symmetric primitives in hardware and software. Both WPs contain well-defined tasks suitable for Ph.D. students and should yield a number of high-quality publications.

Candidates are expected to hold an M.Sc. degree in computer science, electrical engineering, or applied mathematics with excellent grades (GPA > 80%). A solid background in algorithms and data structures, mathematics, probability theory and statistics, software development, computer architecture, and information security is a general requirement to qualify for a Ph.D. position in LACS. Hands-on experience in hardware design (VHDL, SystemC) or programming of embedded systems (AVR, MSP430, ARM, etc.) is a plus. Candidates with an interest to conduct research in one of the following areas are particularly encouraged to apply:

  • Design and analysis of symmetric cryptographic primitives
  • Efficient implementation of cryptosystems in HW and SW
  • Side-channel attacks and countermeasures

The Ph.D. position is initially available for three years, but an extension to a fourth year is possible. LACS offers excellent working conditions in an attractive research environment and a highly competitive salary. Interested candidates are invited to submit their application by email to lacs.acrypt(at) The application material should contain a cover letter explaining the candidate's motivation and research interests, a CV (including detailed information about the obtained degrees and overall GPA in both the undergraduate and graduate program), as well as a transcript of courses and grades. Applications received by 10th January 2014 will be given full consideration, but the position will remain open until filled.

Contact: Alex Biryukov and Johann Großschädl (email addresses can be found at