Çetin Kaya Koç - Research

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Research Interests

Electronic voting, cyber-physical security, cryptographic hardware and embedded systems, elliptic curve cryptography and finite fields, and deterministic, hybrid and true random number generators.

Cryptographic Engineering

Cryptography provides techniques, mechanisms, and tools for private and authenticated communication, and for performing secure and authenticated transactions over the Internet as well as other open networks. It is highly probable that each bit of information flowing through our networks will have to be either encrypted and decrypted or signed and authenticated in a few years from now. This infrastructure is needed to carry over the legal and contractual certainty from our paper-based offices to our virtual offices existing in the cyberspace. In such an environment, server and client computers as well as handheld, portable, and wireless devices will have to be capable of encrypting or decrypting and signing or verifying messages. That is to say, without exception, all networked computers and devices must have cryptographic layers implemented, and must be able to access to cryptographic functions in order to provide security features.

In this context, efficient (in terms of time, area, and power consumption) hardware structures will have to be designed, implemented, and deployed. Furthermore, general-purpose (platform-independent) as well as special-purpose software implementing cryptographic functions on embedded devices are needed. An additional challenge is that these implementations should be done in such a way to resist cryptanalytic attacks launched against them by adversaries having access to primary (communication) and secondary (timing, power, electromagnetic, acoustic) channels. We have coined the term "cryptographic engineering" to describe interdisciplinary research and development efforts leading to secure and efficient hardware and software realizations of cryptographic systems.

Our particular research and development areas are quite diverse and include several topics, such as

  • Architectures for public-key and secret-key cryptosystems
  • Reconfigurable hardware and FPGAs for cryptography
  • Cryptography for ubiquitous computing and wireless applications
  • Efficient arithmetic algorithms
  • Special-purpose hardware for cryptanalysis
  • Architectures for trusted computing
  • Device identification
  • Smart card architectures and attacks
  • True and pseudo random number generators
  • Security for embedded software and systems
  • Efficient software algorithms for embedded processors
  • Formal methods and tools for secure hardware design
  • Cryptographic processors and co-processors
  • Security in commercial consumer applications (pay-TV, automotive, etc)
  • Hardware tamper resistance
  • Technologies and hardware for content protection
  • Side channel attacks and countermeasures
  • Nonclassical cryptographic technologies