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Closed Projects

About

Cryptography and security are among the most important topics in computer and communication science.  Still, current approaches in the field have some inherent weaknesses: Firstly, they are based on unproven mathematical assumptions, which are endangered by new algorithms or new hardware such as quantum computers.  Secondly, they are built on the concept of a secret binary key (=a secret binary number), which must be known to the legitimate parties only. However, a binary key – just like any bitstring – may be cloned, extracted from mobile environments or transferred from computer systems.  These facts can lead to full security breaks and restrict both the security and applicability of existing concepts.

This project deals with an alternative approach called physical cryptography, which is based on the inherent complexity of nanoscale electronic and photonic systems.  The key idea of the project is to use nanostructures with specifically designed properties in order to replace or complement standard cryptoschemes and standard binary keys.  This can result in strong security advantages and enables new types of applications.

One conceptually simple example is the forgery-proof labeling of valuable consumer goods, passports, banknotes or other items.  Due to natural production irregularities, many physical structures have unique and non-reproducible features on a nanoscale level (see figure), which even cannot be reproduced by their original manufacturer.  This makes them in principle applicable as highly secure markers or “labels”, whose security properties against reproduction excel those of standard approaches like holograms or RFID-chips storing secret keys. 

Before this concept can be implemented on large scales, however, the scientific challenge consists of devising nanostructures which are at the same time very hard to replicate, inexpensive, and whose unique features can be measured simply and efficiently.  The labeling problem has an extraordinary economic and political relevance: The worldwide economic damage caused by counterfeit brand products amounts to over 400 billion Dollars per year.

Further applications of physical cryptography include important security problems such as encryption, secure key exchange, hardware protection against tampering, and secure identification over insecure networks.  In each of these cases, suitably designed complex nanostructures can enhance both security and practicability, while cutting on costs.  Our vision is that through our newly developed concepts it will eventually be possible to make the resulting security advantages available to a broad range of users.

External Project Page

For additional information, please visit our general project page under www.pcp.in.tum.de

01-01-1970
14.02.17

Registration now open: IGSSE Forum 2017

29-31 May 2017, TUM Science and Study Center Raitenhaslach, Burghausen

25.04.17

EuroTech postdoc workshop: Success in academia?

20-22 September 2017, Technical University of Denmark, Lynby Campus

18.04.17

Project team ROLITOS in a German documentary

10 May 2017, 11.30 pm Suedwestrundfunk (TV)

30 May 2017, 10.30 pm Bayerischer Rundfunk (TV)

11.04.17

Apply now: McKinsey 'Forschergeist' symposium

9-11 June 2017, Berlin

For doctoral researchers and postdocs!

10.04.17

Register now: ICMSB 2017

26-28 July 2017, TUM Study and Science Center, Raitenhaslach

14.02.17

Registration now open: IGSSE Forum 2017

29-31 May 2017, TUM Science and Study Center Raitenhaslach, Burghausen

05.06.16

10th IGSSE Forum

Smart cooperation - science and technology in, with and for society

15.12.15

The Science of Cooking

Doctoral Candidates explore the Secrets of a great Dinner

26.11.15

ATUMS@IGSSE

Having heard of a great Canadian Kick-Off Meeting, everyone at IGSSE was thrilled to welcome the...

20.11.15

Breakfast at IGSSE´s

Meet the IGSSE team every other month! All the things IGSSE members wanted to asked but never dared...

13.10.15

Save the Date: Canadian ATUMS Speaker on "Global Science- Global Career"

26. November 2015, 6-8 pm, IAS Faculty Club, Garching Campus

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Wednesday, 10. May 2017
Project team ROLITOS in a German documentary
10 May 2017, 11.30 pm Suedwestrundfunk (TV) 30 May 2017, 10.30 pm Bayerischer Rundfunk (TV)
Wednesday, 17. May 2017
Podiumsdiskussion: Frauenförderung - Quo vadis?
17. Mai 2017, 14- 16 Uhr, Hochschule Weihenstephan-Triesdorf, Weidenbach
Friday, 19. May 2017
Tuesday, 23. May 2017
Monday, 29. May 2017
Registration now open: IGSSE Forum 2017
29-31 May 2017, TUM Science and Study Center Raitenhaslach, Burghausen