European IT Security Award for TU Darmstadt Graduate

Felix Günther wins ERCIM STM WG Best Ph.D. Thesis Award


TU Darmstadt graduate Felix Günther was awarded with the Best Ph.D. Thesis Award of the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) Security and Trust Management (STM) working group for his dissertation “Modeling Advanced Security Aspects of Key Exchange and Secure Channel Protocols”. The award will be presented at the 15th International Workshop on Security and Trust Management on September 26, 2019 in Luxembourg, where Günther gives an invited talk about his work.

In his thesis, advised by CYSEC scientist Prof. Marc Fischlin in the Cryptoplexity (Cryptography and Complexity Theory) group, Günther studied the cryptographic security of modern communication connections on the Internet. The ability to securely over the Internet today is a key technology enabling the pervasive digitization in all areas of modern life. At the same time, the demand for higher efficiency and security requires novel techniques for communication connections. In his work, Günther studied how those requirements on the cryptographic core of communication – key exchange and secure channel protocols – can be formalized and thus be applied generically to current and future protocol designs. The security models from his work enable capturing the practical behavior of modern designs more accurately and comprehensively. Günther's work thereby in particular contributed to the standardization process of the newest version of the world's most important security protocol, TLS (Transport Layer Security) 1.3, for which his contribution is explicitly acknowledged in the final standard. The results of his research were furthermore published at top-tier conferences in the field, including ACM CCS, IEEE Security & Privacy, Crypto, and Eurocrypt.

The ERCIM Security and Trust Management working group coordinates research projects, organizes workshops and conferences, and generally fosters European research and development in the areas of IT security, trust, and privacy. As one of its core goals, the working group promotes the scientific growth of young researchers in the field. The Best Ph.D. Thesis in Security and Trust Management Award in this context contributes to increasing the visibility of young researchers in the ERCIM and general scientific community.