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Institut für Theoretische Informatik

Arbeitsgruppe Kryptographie und Sicherheit

Carmen Manietta

Am Fasanengarten 5

Geb. 50.34

D-76131 Karlsruhe

Tel.: + 49 721 608-44213

Fax: + 49 721 608-55022

E-Mail: crypto-infoVsm2∂iti kit edu


Seven Theses on IT Security


Seven Theses

Open Positions

You haven't found a suitable position? Even if it is not always advertised, we are happy to hear from new doctoral students / postdocs who are interested in reinforcing our team. Simply send us your unsolicited application. We look forward to hearing from you!


Welcome to KASTEL

The Competence Center for Applied Security Technology (KASTEL) is one of three competence centers for cyber security in Germany, which were initiated by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in March 2011.

Following the motto “Comprehensible security in the networked world”, KASTEL is meeting the challenges posed by the increasing interconnection of previously isolated systems.

Of particular importance are the consequences of digitalization in the area of critical infrastructures, for example in the energy economy, in industrial production or networked mobility, but also in "intelligent" environments.

KASTEL bundles the competencies in the field of IT security at the research location Karlsruhe. The goal is to develop a widespread approach instead of isolated partial solutions. The focus will be on comprehensive security in specific application areas, such as power grids or intelligent factories.

To ensure this security, new threats need to be modeled, security objectives need to be described and new methods have to be developed.

This can only be achieved through the cooperation of cryptographers, IT-security specialists, software-engineers, network experts, jurists, economics and social scientists – like here at KASTEL.


KASTEL started in 2011 with a provisional term of four years. The goal was to conduct interdisciplinary research and answer questions about IT security that were to be put to practical use on the basis of prototypes and scenarios. This section, known as Phase 1, was completed in autumn of 2015. After a successful evaluation, the BMBF extended the duration of the competence centers and KASTEL started the second phase with newly defined research fields and projects.


KASTEL-PI in the digital podcast of Zeit Online

The current issue of the digital podcast “Wird das was?” by Zeit Online deals with the topic of IT security. KASTEL-PI Prof. Melanie Volkamer was invited as an expert.
In it she argues that the user is not the biggest weakness of a system. Rather, security incidents can be attributed to unintuitive use, according to Prof. Volkamer. In the further course of the podcast she gives tips on how users can better protect themselves.

KASTEL-PI receives Google Faculty Research Award

Prof. Melanie Volkamer, KASTEL-PI and head of the research group “SECUSO”, was awarded the Google Faculty Research Award in the field of security together with Florian Schaub from the University of Michigan. Her work on “Link-centric Phishing Warnings for Online Email Clients” was honored.

With the Google Faculty Research Awards, Google annually honors outstanding scientific work. Seven awards were presented in the area of security.

Safer Internet Day action day in the foyer of the Mensa at Campus South

On February 5th, on the occasion of the "Safer Internet Day", the Steinbuch Center for Computing (SCC), the Institute for Applied Informatics and Formal Description Methods (AIFB) and the "Center for Technology-Enhance Learning" (ZML) presented new information materials and awareness measures on the topic of IT security. Representatives of all institutions were present in the foyer of the cafeteria from 11:00 to 15:00h to answer questions on IT security, handling of spam and phishing e-mails, the obligation to report to KIT, and similar topics. For the first time, the materials were also available in english.

Presentation of KASTEL-PI at ID:SMART workshop

On February 19 and 20, Fraunhofer SIT in cooperation with CAST organized the 30th ID:SMART Workshop in Darmstadt. The workshop is one of the most important events in the field of smart cards and electronic identities. It brings together experts from industry and science to discuss cryptography, security architectures and the current state of development. Among the presenting experts was KASTEL-PI Prof. Thorsten Strufe, who gave a presentation on “Privacy Enhancing Technologies”.

KASTEL-PI as expert in Zeit-Online article

In September 2019, a malware attack struck the Berlin Court of Appeal; the consequences of the attack are still being felt today. In an artikel published in Zeit-online, the causes of the attack are analyzed and experts are consulted. In addition to CCC-spokeswoman Constanze Kurz and Haya Shulman from Fraunhofer SIT, KASTEL-PI Prof. Melanie Volkamer was asked about the matter. In her article, she considers that the attack and its effects are due to a poor IT infrastructure and concludes by arguing that public institutions in particular should use more money to reduce the attack surface.

KASTEL PIs as Program Chairs of the ARES Conference

The two KASTEL-PIs Prof. Melanie Volkamer from the research group „secuso“ and Junior Prof. Christian Wressnegger from the research group „intellisec“ are Program Chairs of the 15th „International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security“ (ARES). The ARES has set itself the goal of looking at security-related topics from both a theoretical and a practical perspective. It has been organized by the „Association for Computing Machinery“ since 2006 and is classified as a B-conference by CORE. The conference will take place from 25 to 28 August at University College in Dublin, Ireland. As Program Chairs, they are largely responsible for finding those from the numerous submissions that will be accepted for the conference.