European Research Council, 2020-2025
ERC Starting Grants with funding of up to €1.5M over five years are awarded to researchers with two to seven years of experience since completion of the PhD and a scientific track record showing great promise.
Users of Internet services currently have to entrust the respective service provider with their data. However, attackers or secret services can obtain access to that data by using vulnerabilities or backdoors in hard- or software. Moreover, authorities can force the service provider to give out data. The new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) now mandates that companies take appropriate measures to protect user data.
The ERC Starting Grant „PSOTI“ (Privacy-preserving Services On The Internet) will eliminate the need to trust a single service provider in Internet Services and empower users to keep full control over their data. For this, the user can choose from multiple service providers who jointly process the data, without gaining direct access to the contents. The data will be protected, as long as at least one provider is trustworthy.
The main goal of PSOTI is to develop privacy-preserving services for commonly used applications on the Internet like data storage, online surveys, and email. These services will provide extensive functionalities and will allow to securely and efficiently store, retrieve, search, and process data. This will allow to comply with the GDPR and preserve the fundamental rights to privacy and the protection of personal data.
A practical system for secure multi-party computations will be developed which can also be used for the secure processing of other sensitive data such as in the areas of genomics or machine learning. Also protocols for private search queries will be built that even hide the structure of the query and that can be used in multiple application scenarios.
See also the official as well as the fact sheet and the press releases by TU Darmstadt. ERC
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), 2014-2026
Collaborative Research Centers (Sonderforschungsbereiche) are institutions funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and are established at universities to pursue a scientifically ambitious, complex, long-term research program. The goal of the center is to provide cryptography-based security solutions enabling trust in new and next generation computing environments. The solutions will meet the efficiency and security requirements of the new environments and will have sound implementations. They will be easy to use for developers, administrators, and end users of IT, even if they are not cryptography experts. In CROSSING researchers from different areas such as cryptography, IT security, computing hardware, quantum physics, and software engineering will collaborate. In the first funding phase (2014-2018) of CROSSING, our group was involved in project CROSSING – Cryptography-Based Security Solutions: Enabling Trust in New and Next Generation Computing Environments and project S5 (Privacy-Preserving Computation). In the second funding phase (2018-2022), both projects were merged into project E4 (Compiler for Privacy-Preserving Protocols). In the third funding phase (2022-2026), we continue with project E4 (Compiler for Privacy-Preserving Protocols) and are affiliated with the new project E4 (Compiler for Privacy-Preserving Protocols). E7 (Transparency as User-Centered Intervention for Privacy and Security)
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), 2019-2024
The Doctoral College “” is a Research Training Group (RTG) funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). It is a highly interdisciplinary collaboration between Computer Science and the fields of Law, Economics, Sociology, and usability research. Mobile information and communication technology has become virtually ubiquitous due to the proliferation of smartphones and tablet computers; large sections of the society use it to their advantage. In reference to the relationship users-network, public debates highlight the increasing transparency of users (in the sense of a surveillance society) while the network is deemed to become increasingly nontransparent, i.e. inscrutable. The RTG focuses on major contributions to reversing this trend: It shall enable better privacy protection for users and better transparency, i.e., assessability of the network; Privacy protection shall be customizable to personal interests yet manageable by the lay person; Privacy-opposing economic or societal interests shall be better reconciled. The Privacy and Trust for Mobile Users is involved in research area A (Privacy and Trust in Service Networks). ENCRYPTO group
Awards and Other Funding Sources
Intel, Avast, and VMware 2021
For our project proposal “Engineering Private AI Systems (EPAI)”, the ENCRYPTO Group was awarded to participate in the , which is formed and funded by Intel, Avast, and VMware. The center aims at advancing technologies for privacy and trust in decentralized AI. Additional information can be found in Private AI Collaborative Research Institute. Intel's blog post
Intel Corporation, 2019
The ENCRYPTO group was awarded by Intel Corporation for our research in the area of “Secure and Privacy Preserving AI Frameworks and Run-Times for Data Scientists and Service Providers”. The ENCRYPTO group already has an ongoing research collaboration with the Privacy and Security Research team in Intel AI, San Diego, CA USA headed by Rosario Cammarota.
was created to promote the careers of the best and brightest early career faculty members at the top universities around the world. Awardees are selected through a competitive and rigorous application process and they receive recognition as well as a cash award to help fund their research and sponsor travel to Intel to collaborate with Intel researchers. The Early Career Faculty Honor Program is an annual award that is currently open to select universities in the U.S., Europe, China, and Taiwan. The Intel Early Career Faculty Honor Program
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) & Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst (HMWK), 2019-2022
The conducts cutting-edge research for the benefit of business, society and government and strives for academic leadership. ATHENE is an agile research organization and therefore capable of responding quickly to new challenges and emerging threats. ATHENE is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Hessian State Ministry for Higher Education, Research and the Arts (HMWK). The National Research Center for Applied Cybersecurity ATHENE is involved in the following subproject: ENCRYPTO group
- Practical Private Set Intersection for Data Protection (01.01.2019 – 31.12.2022, as part of the mission User-centered Security and Privacy (UCSP)): we will improve the practicality of private set intersection (PSI) protocols that allow to match (and further process) sensitive data collections in a provably secure way without unjustifiably compromising the privacy of the associated individuals.
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) & Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst (HMWK), 2015-2019
The former IT security centers EC SPRIDE and CASED funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Hessian State Ministry for Higher Education, Research and the Arts (HMWK) respectively have been united to bundle their strengths in the . Under the core topic “Security at Large” its research activities focus on the study of security for large systems, starting with their individual components up to their interaction within comprehensive security solutions. The “Center for Research in Security and Privacy (CRISP)” was involved in the following subprojects: ENCRYPTO group
- IP3 – Protection Mechanisms for Big Data and Complex Private Functions (01.06.2017 – 31.05.2020): we developed protection mechanisms for big data and complex private functions based on cryptographic protocols for secure computation as well as hardware measures in the form of Trusted Execution Environments such as Intel SGX; the PIs are , Prof. Thomas Schneider, and Prof. Stefan KatzenbeisserProf. Patrick Eugster
- IP1 – Scalable Privacy-Preserving Protocols (01.10.2015 – 31.3.2018): we developed innovative methods that guarantee the protection of privacy, can be integrated into applications, and scale even for large amounts of data; the PIs are and Prof. Thomas Schneider. Prof. Kay Hamacher
European Commission (FP7), 2013-2016
The mission of PRACTICE is to design cloud computing technologies that allow computations in the cloud thus enabling new business processes while keeping the used data secret. Unlike today – where insiders can access sensitive data – PRACTICE will prevent cloud providers and other unauthorized parties from obtaining secret or sensitive information. Information processed by businesses, government organizations and individuals often comes with confidentiality and integrity requirements that the processing party must adhere to. As a result, data processors must deploy security controls for their ICT infrastructure, protecting it against external as well as internal attackers. This is relatively easy when this infrastructure is local and controlled by the processing party, but much harder when it is provided by an external service provider. Cloud services promise great benefits in terms of financial savings, easy and convenient access to data and services, as well as business agility. Organizations and individuals therefore choose to outsource their data to the cloud, where an untrusted party is in charge of storage and computation. A major concern for the adoption of cloud computing is the inability of the cloud to build user trust in the information security measures deployed in cloud services. Common computing techniques cannot be applied on encrypted data, and therefore the data and the programs that compute on the data must be decrypted before being run on the cloud infrastructure. A comprehensive solution for securing the cloud computing infrastructure can be based on cryptographic mechanisms of secure computation. These mechanisms allow for distributed computation of arbitrary functions of private (secret) inputs, while hiding any information about the inputs to the functions.
Landes-Offensive zur Entwicklung Wissensch.-ökonomischer Exzellenz (LOEWE), 2008-2016
CASED is a collaborative project of the Technische Universität Darmstadt, the Fraunhofer Society and the University of Applied Science (Hochschule) Darmstadt. In the research areas Secure Data, Secure Things, and Secure Services the cluster develops applicable basic knowledge and IT security solutions. Thanks to its broadly-based position in regard to topics and competencies, the cluster and its headquarters CASED can realize especially complex projects efficiently and sustainably. Our group is part of the research area Secure Data and of the Cryptography Lab.
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF), 2011-2015
The BMBF project EC SPRIDE researches how IT developers can optimally secure software and IT systems from the very beginning, i.e. “by Design”, and throughout the entire lifecycle. EC SPRIDE provides the base funding for our group. Within this project, we develop models, languages, and tools for security and privacy by design during the entire lifecycle of privacy-preserving protocols in various application scenarios.