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  Prof Leandros Maglaras, Prof B Buchanan, Dr N Moradpoor  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Using several messenger applications like Signal where data are not backed up or stored reduces the chance of messages being accessed, but the main problem of the data being created and consumed in cleartext on end devices remains. The bulk of the already available chat applications is primarily focused on the process of data transmission using an E2EE strategy (End-2-End Encryption method). An adversary

can commit acts of technological violence by installing spyware within an application to accomplish a wide range of capabilities. These capabilities can include monitoring, changing, or accessing information or credentials that are saved on a person’s mobile device. When a mobile user accesses, edits, or otherwise manipulates data or credentials in any other way, one way to reduce the likelihood of a vulnerability of this kind arising is to use Multi-Factor Authentication techniques.

This project aims on building on our previous E2E prototype mechanism in order to provide a holistic solution for securing mobile phones from eavesdropping attacks. The solution that will be developed should be able to be applied to any mobile phone operating system and be user friendly and robust against cybersecurity threats.

Perspective applicants are encouraged to contact the Supervisor before submitting their applications.

Applications should make it clear the project you are applying for and the name of the supervisors.

Academic qualifications

A first degree (at least a 2.1) ideally in Electrical/Electronic/Communications Engineering, Computer Science/Engineering, Mathematics with a good fundamental knowledge of Communication Principles, Digital Communications, Cryptography, Algorithms.

English language requirement

IELTS score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 6.0 in each of the four components). Other, equivalent qualifications will be accepted. Full details of the University’s policy are available online.

Essential attributes:

  • Experience of fundamental cryptography and cybersecurity
  • Competent in software development
  • Knowledge of communication principles, cryptography, algorithms
  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • Strong motivation, with evidence of independent research skills relevant to the project
  • Good time management

Desirable attributes:

  • Team player, eager to learn new technologies, flexible and knowledge of R or Java.

For enquiries about the content of the project, please email Professor Leandros Maglaras  

For information about how to apply, please visit our website https://www.napier.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/research-degrees/how-to-apply

To apply, please select the link for the PhD Computing FT application form

CIC Centre

The Centre for Cybersecurity, IoT and Cyber-physical systems (CIC) is the main research group within the Cybersecurity and Systems Engineering (CSE) subject group in the School of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment (SCEBE) at Edinburgh Napier University. The research, knowledge exchange, and innovation work covers a wide spectrum of areas including cybersecurity, networking, energy engineering, applied cryptography and blockchain, data science and cybersecurity, digital twins, intelligent control, robotics, wireless/RF systems, digital forensics, electronics and IoT security, and which is applied into many application areas, including FinTech, NetZero, Vehicular Systems, Health Care, Critical Infrastructure Protection, Identity Systems and Law Enforcement.

Overall, the Centre is led by seven internationally-leading professors (Bill Buchanan, Hongnian Yu, Amir Hussain, Ahmed Al-Dubai, Leandros Maglaras, Berk Canberk and Xiadong Liu), 10 Associate Professors and 26 Academics, and has received a wide range of funding including from EPSRC, Horizon Europe, Innovate UK and industry. For engineering, the subject group is rated in the Top 250 in the world in the recent Times Higher World University rankings, and within the Top 300 for Computer Science. The Centre also has 20 leading academics who are rating in the Top 2% of scientific authors within 2022. A core strength of the Centre is the translation of research into high impact outputs and impacts to industry. This includes three highly successful spin-out companies (Zonefox, Symphonic and Cyacomb), along with two forthcoming spin-outs (True Deploy and LastingAsset). For its submission to REF 2021, it scored 38% for world-class research outputs, and its impact case studies were all rated as world-leading.


Nithish Velagala, Leandros Maglaras, Nick Ayres, Sotiris Moschoyiannis, Leandros Tassiulas, "Enhancing Privacy of Online Chat Apps Utilising Secure Node End-To-End Encryption (SNE2EE)", 27th IEEE Symposium on Computers and Communications (ISCC 2022), 30 June - 3 July 2022, Rhodes, Greece, DOI: 10.1109/ISCC55528.2022.9912888
Leandros Maglaras, Nick Ayres, Sotiris Moschoyiannis, Leandros Tassiulas, "The end of Eavesdropping Attacks through the Use of Advanced End to End Encryption Mechanisms", IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications (INFOCOM 2022), 2-5 May 2022 // Virtual Conference
Andrabi, S. J., Reiter, M. K., & Sturton, C. (2015). Usability of augmented reality for revealing secret messages to users but not their devices. In Eleventh Symposium On Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS 2015) (pp. 89-102).
Dong, Y., Ling, Y., Wang, D., Liu, Y., Chen, X., Zheng, S., … & Huang, W. (2022). Harnessing molecular isomerization in polymer gels for sequential logic encryption and anticounterfeiting. Science Advances, 8(44), eadd1980.
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