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PhD studentship in Cryptanalysis of Lightweight Symmetric-key Algorithms

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  • Full or part time
    Dr V Velichkov
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Lightweight cryptography (LC) studies the analysis and design of cryptographic algorithms for systems with constrained resources. Such systems find applications in sensor networks, the automotive industry, healthcare and in the exploding area of the Internet of Things (IoT) in general.

The limited computational resources of lightweight devices, coupled with the abundance of device architectures and usage scenarios, raises unique challenges that can not always be solved with existing cryptographic algorithms. An evidence of the latter is the international competition for new LC standards recently announced by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

In this project the student will analyse the security of lightweight symmetric-key algorithms such as block ciphers, stream ciphers and hash functions. The targets for analysis will be selected from the following groups: candidates submitted to the NIST competition, LC algorithms used in existing IoT applications, algorithms based on modular addition.

Application Information

Applicants should apply via the University’s admissions portal (EUCLID) and apply for the following programme: LFCS Security and Privacy Group with a start date in 2019/20. Applicants should state “Cryptanalysis of Lightweight Symmetric-key Algorithms” in their Research Proposal document and note the research supervisor (Dr. Vesselin Velichkov) in their application.

Applications are open and will remain so until the position is filled. The anticipated start date is 01 October 2019 but later start dates can be considered.

Applicants must submit:

• All degree transcripts and certificates (and certified translations if applicable)
• Evidence of English Language capability (where applicable).
• A short research proposal (max 2 pages)
• A full CV and cover letter describing your background, suitability for the PhD, and research interests (max 2 pages).
• Two references (note that it the applicant’s responsibility to ensure reference letters are received before the deadline).

Only complete applications will progress forward to the academic selection stage.

For informal enquiries contact Dr. Vesselin Velichkov: [Email Address Removed]

The algorithms targeted for analysis will be selected from one or more of the following groups:

- Candidates for standardization submitted to the NIST competition
- LC algorithms used in existing IoT applications
- Algorithms based on modular addition (e.g. ARX)

The School of Informatics is one of the largest in Europe and currently the top Informatics institute in the UK for research power, with 40% of its research outputs considered world-leading (top grade), and almost 50% considered top grade for societal impact. The University of Edinburgh is constantly ranked among the world’s top universities and is a highly international environment with several centres of excellence.

Funding Notes

Studentship and eligibility

The studentship starting in 2019/20 covers:

• Full time PhD tuition fees for a student with UK/EU nationality (£4,327 per annum, subject to annual increment).
• A tax free stipend of GBP £15,009 per year for 3.5 years.
• Additional programme costs of £1000 per year.

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Edinburgh in Computer Science and Informatics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 94.85

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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