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Tools and Techniques for Side Channel Resilient Embedded Systems


Digtial Age Research Centre

Applications accepted all year round Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Cybersecurity is a vast area and touches both on offensive as well as defensive techniques. An overarching theme though is the concern of information leakage from a system.

The Cybersecurity Research group at AAU has been newly established by Prof. Elisabeth Oswald, whose interest is that of finding and eliminating such information leaks in the context of embedded devices (they often exhibit a number of so called side channels). In this particular setting, the research team by Prof. Oswald has developed a range of techniques that integrate well in a typical software flow and make leakage information transparent to a developer.

The purpose of this studentship is to build on the existing work and add novel ideas including the automated tracing of leaks from lower level code representations to the description in a higher level language, the development of code transformation techniques to mitigate leaks automatically, etc. The successful applicant will work closely with Prof. Oswald and will develop into a researcher/engineer with a profound understanding of the challenges of leakage resilient development.

The student will be embedded in the Cybersecurity research group, which currently consists of one further lecturer, two postdocs, and three further incoming PhD students who work in the areas of crypto, statistical machine learning, embedded security, AI and deep learning and crypto engineering. There will be opportunities to get involved in teaching.

If you consider applying please send an email to the provided address which contains a brief description of why you think you would be suitable for this position, your CV, your recent transcript(s), and if your MSc thesis is in English an electronic copy of it. I will consider applications as they come in (I will reply to your email if your application fulfills the brief with an invitation to a Skype interview), and fill the vacancy as soon as a suitable candidate has been identified.

Funding Notes

The position has funding for 40 months. The successful applicant is expected to start as soon as possible. The PhD programme at AAU requires doing some taught modules, but is otherwise entirely research lead. You must possess a Master's level qualification (a BSc is not sufficient). Applicants with a strong background in embedded systems (e.g. a final year project, internships with relevant companies) will be preferred but applicants with some background in low level programming and embedded systems (who have an interest in developing their understanding of compilers) will be considered.

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