Computer Laboratory

Dr Markus Kuhn

Portrait, Lake District, September 2002

I am a University Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory and a Fellow of Wolfson College.

Primarily a computer scientist by training, I also have backgrounds in electronics, digital signal processing, communications engineering, and physiology. My broader interests cover most aspects of applied computer science and technology, including neurophysiology and robotics.

My research and that of my PhD students has focused so far on computer security, in particular hardware and signal-processing aspects of this very wide field. Compromising emanations, RFID security, and the security of positioning systems (distance-bounding protocols, authentication of navigation signals) have recently been particular areas of interest. I also worked in the past on hardware tamper resistance, smartcards, network security, “intellectual property” protection technology (in particular pay-TV conditional access), data compression, video and audio technology, FPGA applications, and some standardization matters (character sets, semi-structured data, file formats, etc.).

Contact information

Dr Markus Kuhn
University of Cambridge
Computer Laboratory
15 JJ Thomson Avenue
Cambridge CB3 0FD
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 1223 3-34676
Fax: +44 1223 3-34678
Email: mgk25 at cl.cam.ac.uk
(spam-filter delays possible)

Home address (only local access)

Reachability status: Away 14–18 April 2014.

You can also find me sometimes on Google+, Facebook, or Light Blue Touchpaper.

PhD studentship available – October 2014

I will be able to offer a fully funded 3.5-year PhD studentship from October 2014, for one student to work on “Model-based assessment of compromising emanations”. The project aims to improve our understanding of electro-magnetic emissions that are unintentionally emitted by computing equipment, and the eavesdropping risks they pose. In particular, it aims to improve test and measurement procedures (TEMPEST) for computing equipment that processes highly confidential data. For this project, I am looking for an electrical engineering, computer science or physics graduate interested in several of the following areas: electronics, radio communication, hardware security, side-channel cryptanalysis, digital signal processing, electromagnetic compatibility, pattern recognition, machine learning.

This studentship is funded through Government Communication Headquarters (CGHQ) under their Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR) programme. As part of this programme, the doctoral student will be able to visit and work with GCHQ experts in Cheltenham. To enable such collaboration, this studentship is awarded under the condition that the applicant obtains an advanced UK government security clearance (“developped vetting”). To make this feasible, the applicant should have lived in the UK for the last 10 years and ideally be a British National.

Contact me for more information; a formal advert will be posted shortly.

Recent publications

  • Omar Choudary, Markus G. Kuhn: Template attacks on different devices. COSADE 2014, Paris, 14–15 April 2014. (to appear)
  • Omar Choudary, Markus G. Kuhn: Efficient template attacks. CARDIS 2013, Berlin, 27--29 November 2013 (preproceedings).
  • Markus G. Kuhn: Compromising emanations of LCD TV sets, IEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility, Vol. 55, No. 3, pp 564–570, June 2013.

More ...

Some other online texts

Software

  • OTPW is my one-time password package for POSIX systems, optimized for being used with printed password lists and designed to be more robust against certain denial-of-service attacks than various older schemes.
  • JBIG-KIT is my portable C implementation of a highly effective lossless bi-level image compression algorithm based on context sensitive arithmetic coding. The JBIG1 algorithm (specified in ITU-T Recommendation T.82) implemented in this library is especially suitable for compressing scanned documents and fax pages. You can also download the (German) project report (Studienarbeit) that I wrote about JBIG-KIT (abstract).
  • I prepared and maintain the ISO 10646-1 extension of the classic X Window System pixel fonts.
  • In early 1997, I wrote StirMark, a robustness testing tool for steganographic watermarking algorithms of still images. It is now maintained by Fabien Petitcolas.

Older material previously found here is now in my home page attic.

Teaching

I currently supervise as a PhD student Omar Choudary. Former PhD students of mine that have already graduated: Piotr Zieliński, Steven Murdoch, Gerhard Hancke, Saar Drimer, Andrew Lewis.

Ross Anderson and I organize a Security Seminar Series, which is open to the public.