Research Fellow in Quantum-Resistant Cryptography for Trusted Computing

University of Surrey - Department of Computer Science

The Department of Computer Science at the University of Surrey is seeking to recruit a full-time researcher to the “FutureTPM” project funded by the European Union as part of the H2020 programme. The successful candidate will join the Secure Systems group (http://www.surrey.ac.uk/cs/research/) for up to three years, working on the development and integration of quantum-resistant cryptography into the Trusted Platform Module (TPM), the development of a formal security model for all TPM functionalities and the vulnerability analysis of the TCG Software Stack (TSS) for accessing all the functions of the TPM.

The goal of FutureTPM is to provide a new generation of TPM-based solutions, incorporating robust and physically secure Quantum-Resistant (QR) cryptographic primitives (formally verified), to ensure long-term security, privacy and operational assurance in the complex domain of future ICT systems and services. The goal is to enable a smooth transition from current TPM environments, based on traditional cryptography, to systems providing enhanced security through QR cryptographic functions, including secure authentication, encryption and signing functions, thus, turning the host device into a “hardened” security token that may also remain secure long-term against an enhanced threat landscape in quantum computing deployments.

We are looking for an excellent, motivated, self-driven post-doctoral candidate to conduct high-quality research within the following key technological aspects:

• the design and development of QR cryptographic primitives and algorithms (symmetric crypto, asymmetric crypto and privacy-protecting primitives such as Direct Anonymous Attestation (DAA)) suitable for inclusion in a TPM;
• the security validation of the implemented QR algorithms. This comprises of all activities that aim at demonstrating the security qualities of the specified and implemented QR algorithms. Hence, it includes formal verification, analysis, testing, and performance evaluation;
• the provision of run-time risk assessment and vulnerability analysis methodologies of the whole QR TPM-based system.

In addition to supporting the research project with internal and external collaborators, the position will serve as a platform for the research fellow to develop their career and profile as an independent researcher. The successful candidate will work under the direction of Professor Liqun Chen, together with Dr Thanassis Giannetsos and Dr François Dupressoir from the Surrey Centre for Cyber Security.

We are looking for applicants who hold, or are near completion of, a PhD in a relevant subject. (Relevant professional experience may be considered.) The successful applicant will: (i) demonstrate experience and knowledge of applied cryptography and trusted computing technologies, (ii) exposure to theoretical cryptography (in particular to simulation-based and code-based security proofs), and interest in the application of formal methods to security and cryptography, (iii) and a solid foundation in risk assessment and vulnerability analysis for cyber-physical systems.

The post is available to start in February 2018, and runs to December 2020.

For informal enquiries please contact Professor Liqun Chen at liqun.chen@surrey.ac.uk or +44 (0)1483 6844615 or Dr Thanassis Giannetsos at a.giannetsos@surrey.ac.uk or +44 (0) 1483 683037.

Please note, it is University Policy to offer a starting salary equivalent to Level 3.6 (£30,688) to successful applicants who have been awarded, but are yet to receive, their PhD certificate. Once the original PhD certificate has been submitted to the local HR Department, the salary will be increased to Level 4.1 (£31,604).

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