Department of Computer Science and Technology

Dr Markus Kuhn

Portrait, July 2012

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  (09:30–18:30)
Fax: +44 1223 3-34678
Email: [Javascript required]
(spam-filter delays possible)
Time zone: UTC+1h in summer (last Sun Mar – last Sun Oct)
UTC in winter

Reachability status: Away 7–21 April 2018.

PhD applicants: I may be able to take on 1–2 new PhD students from October 2018, and in particular look for applicants interested in hardware security, side-channel analysis, statistical signal processing, and/or radio-frequency electronics. See also below for the one funded studentship opportunity I have available this year. I'm happy to discuss your research proposals informally any time, but to be considered for a position, you must first submit your documents through the University's graduate admissions system (i.e., please do not via email me CVs, transcripts, or references).

Internships: I do not have any interships on offer.

Hardware-security PhD studentship available – October 2018

I can offer a 3.5-year PhD studentship on side-channel security, starting in October 2018, to applicants interested in hardware security, radio communication, and digital signal processing. Due to the funding source, this studentship is restricted to UK nationals, or applicants who have been resident in the UK for the past 10 years. Contact me for a detailed project proposal.

Recent publications

More ...

Some other online texts


  • 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.


I teach second and third year undergraduate courses in the Computer Science Tripos on Security, Cryptography, Digital Signal Processing, and Unix Tools.

Course materials pages: 2017/18, 2016/17, 2015/16, 2014/15, 2013/14, 2012/13, 2011/12, 2010/11, 2009/10.

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

We organize a Security Seminar Series, which is open to the public.