Detailed information about selected course/program
EU code
6.2 - Electrical Engineering
3 - PhD
University of Leuven, Belgium
Electrical Engineering Department, Computer Security and Industrial Cryptography Group
PhD position: Embedded Trusted Computing: Physically Unclonable Functions
Language requirements
Good knowledge of English.
Academic requirements
The candidate should hold a master degree in electronics, electrical or computer engineering, or computer science. A basic knowledge of cryptography and security is a plus.
Max available positions
Networked embedded devices, e.g. smart phones, smartcards, electronic IDs, medical devices and many more, rely on security for a trusted and correct operation. The authenticity and integrity of the hardware components used to implement them, is continuously challenged by improving attacks. Hence new methods for testing the authenticity and integrity of those hardware devices must be sought. One class of novel component are the so-called PUFs (Physically Unclonable Functions). They have been proposed as a secure alternative to store secret keys on chip. PUFs measure the unique process variability of circuits implemented in CMOS technology. The raw measurement data is post-processed to generate a unique key or identifier. In this project, novel PUF and post-processing circuits will be investigated and novel attacks will be developed: both mathematical and physical attacks. The cost of countermeasures resistant to certain classes of attacks also need to be investigated.
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36 months between Jul 15 2014 and Jul 14 2017
Contact person
Prof. Ingrid Verbauwhede (
Additional information
The scholarship is provided for 36 months, which can be extended by the department up to a total maximum of 48 months, the maximum time to finish the PhD studies. The Computer Security and Industrial Cryptography group (COSIC) is an international research group, which currently has over 40 researchers from 20 different nationalities. The research work of COSIC covers a broad span that varies from mathematical foundations over algorithms and protocols towards efficient and secure implementations in hardware and software. This research of COSIC has led to important successes in the area of cryptanalysis and design; notable successes are the selection of the Rijndael algorithm as the US Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), efficient implementations of cryptographic algorithms in HW and SW and the design of circuitstyles resistant to side-channel attacks. COSIC also has an electronics security lab to perform attacks and evaluate the strength of countermeasures.