Researchers in Cryptography Secured against Physical Attacks

Catholic University of Leuven Department of Electrical Engineering

The Computer Security and Industrial Cryptography (COSIC) group belongs to the Electrical Engineering Department at the KU Leuven. The COSIC team has about 80 researchers including 7 professors, 8 researcher managers/experts, 12 postdoctoral researchers, 46 PhD students, 5 visitors and 6 members of support staff. The COSIC research group provides a broad expertise in digital security and strives for innovative security solutions. Our research is applied in a broad range of application domains, such as electronic payments, identity cards, e-voting, protection of e-documents, smart meters and smart grid, telematics for the automobile industry and trusted systems. Our research focus lays in the design, evaluation and implementation of cryptographic algorithms and protocols, the development of security architectures for information and communication systems, the development of security mechanisms for embedded systems and the design and analysis of privacy preserving systems. The group has as goal to cover the whole range from mathematical theory towards industrial applications.


The traditional application of cryptography is the protection of communication lines. In modern applications the attacker often has physical access to the device that is executing the cryptographic algorithm, and can measure side channels (execution time, power consumption, electromagnetic radiation) or perform fault attacks. With the advent of the IoT, the interest in embedded cryptographic systems and side-channel/fault attacks on these systems is steadily increasing. Protection against side channel attacks (SCA) is usually done via masking, i.e. by randomizing any sensitive data manipulated during computations. Protection against fault injection attacks (FA) is typically done either by duplication or by using infection, i.e., ensuring that any induced fault results in a garbage output. The research direction of combined countermeasures - that is, countermeasures against both SCA and FA - is quite young and experimental.


We are looking for motivated researchers to workon one or more of the following topics: (1) formalsecurity definitions and methods to defend implementations against combinedattacks as well as new countermeasures against combined attacks which haveimproved performance and a more realistic adversary model. (2) the developmentof robust automated verification tools capable of handling entire and practicalimplementations. (3) to define metrics for combined security and to developprocedures for their evaluation using verification tools. The candidates should hold a PhD degree with aproven research track record in any aspects of Cryptography or Embedded Security. We are especiallylooking for researchers with a broad research spectrum, going from mathematicalaspects, to implementations on FPGA and physical attacks evaluation.


We offer a full time contract with competitive salary for one year and renewable; working in a motivated and competitive environment with top researchers in the field.   


For more information please contact Mrs. Svetla Petkova-Nikova, tel.: +32 16 32 96 18, mail: or Prof. dr. ir. Vincent Rijmen, tel.: +32 16 32 10 68, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than June 28, 2021 via the
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  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Leuven
  • Apply before: June 28, 2021
  • Tags: Elektrotechniek