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Post-quantum Authenticated Key Exchange for Space Communication


   Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

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  Dr Ioana Boureanu  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The security of public-key cryptography (e.g., confidentiality of data encrypted in this way) relies primarily on designated secret information remaining secret. This project will look at computer security in a post-quantum computing world.

Studentship group name

Digital Resilience

Department/School

School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

Research group(s)

Surrey Centre for Cyber Security

Project Description

The security of public-key cryptography (e.g., confidentiality of data encrypted in this way) relies primarily on designated secret information remaining secret. This resides on certain mathematical problems being hard to solve algorithmically. In this vein, public-key cryptographic systems that are (practically) secure under classical computers will be no longer secure if/when quantum computers are built. Thus, some years ago, NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) launched the competition for the next standard postquantum cryptographic (PQC) systems, and the third round of “finalists” has been announced.

In July 2022, the European Space Agency (ESA) put out a research call to test the suitability of 2022 PQC finalists onto the space communications such as the SDLS (Space Data Link Security Protocol). 

This a PhD studentship aims to tackle ESA’s proposal and go beyond that. 

  • test the latest , NIST finalists for postquantum cryptographic systems as well as extensions and adaptations thereof, in an environment with space-like conditions w.r.t. latency, bandwidth, CPU, etc.

The PhD will be based at the Surrey Space Centre (SSC -- https://www.surrey.ac.uk/surrey-space-centre) and the Surrey Centre for Cyber Security (SCCS -- https://www.surrey.ac.uk/surrey-centre-cyber-security), where the former is a world leading Centre of Excellence in Space Engineering and the latter is an ACE-CSR, i.e., a NCSC and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) jointly recognised Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research. Space.

For any information, contact Ioana Boureanu, at [Email Address Removed].

Candidate Profile

A successful candidate will require a first honours degree in a computer science or mathematics or (space) engineering, and an excellent background in modern cryptography, whereas programming skills are desirable.

How to Apply

Applications should be submitted via the Computer Science PhD programme page. In place of a research proposal you should upload a document stating the title of the projects (up to 2) that you wish to apply for and the name(s) of the relevant supervisor. You must upload your full CV and any transcripts of previous academic qualifications. You should enter ’Faculty Funded Competition’ under funding type.

Funding

The studentship will provide a stipend at UKRI rates (currently £17,668 for 2022/23) and tuition fees for 3.5 years. An additional bursary of £1700 per annum for the duration of the studentship will be offered to exceptional candidates.

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