Funded Projects

INVOLVE - INternet VOting UsabLe and VErifiable

An important goal in designing secure Internet voting systems is preventing vote manipulations either by a malicious voting device or a malicious voting system component. For preventing such manipulations, the academic community introduced the concept of end-to-end verifiability. End-to-end verifiability offers mechanisms for the voter to verify whether a vote was cast-as-intended, recorded-as-cast and tallied-as-recorded. The usability of such mechanisms, however, is crucial in ensuring that the voters actually perform the verification procedures required of them correctly.

The goal of INVOLVE is to investigate and optimize the usability of verification mechanisms in Internet voting systems.

Funded by: Horst Görtz Foundation

Partner: CYSEC

Funding Period: 01.07.2017 - 30.06.2019

Contact: Karola Marky

GHOST: New EU-funded research project launched

GHOST: Kick-off of a new EU-funded research project

The project deals with Smart Homes - households in which domestic appliances and multimedia equipment interact and can be centrally remote controlled. These Smart Homes give rise to diverse and complex cyber-security challenges, on which GHOST reacts using a pioneering, software-compatible and usable security solution. GHOST provides a transparent cyber-security environment for all Europeans living in a networked world: with minimal effort, consumers shall be aware of and understand cyber-security risks and shall make informed decisions regarding their cyber-physical security and privacy.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No GA-740923").

Project Site

Funding body: European Union (EU)

Partners: Televe, Université de Genève, Centre for Research & Technology - Hellas (Certh), NTNU: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Imperial College of Science - London, EXUS Software, ThingsMaze, Cruz Roja Espanola Fundacion, Obrela Security Industries.

Funding period: 01.05.2017 – 31.05.2020

Contact: Benjamin Reinheimer, Melanie Volkamer

CRISP - Center for Research in Security and Privacy

CRISP's research focus is on "Security at Large". Usually, cyber security research considered isolated characteristic and systems of manageable sizes, for instance security of individual encryption techniques, program modules, or Internet protocols. In reality, hoewever, security issues arise often in the dynamic interaction of malleable subsystems. One might think of a large IT company consisting of thousend of computers, users and applications or of Software-as-a-Service, which consist of millions lines of codes and it constantly changes. Individual subsystems can be secure, however their become unsecure and vulnerable through their composition. Hence, the main task of CRISP is the research of comprehensive security solutions of large Systems - from its individual componenents to their interactions. CRSIP is developing its research focus in both foundation and applied research. Thereby, CRSIP puts particular importance on existing, practical interdisciplinartiy of CASED and EC Spride. In CRISP it is planned to include experties from other research fields, namely mechanical engineering, law, economics, electrical engineering, philosophy, psychology and sociology, and to work with the representatives of the corresponding departments in different, interdisciplinary projects.

Within CRISP, we focus on how end users could delegate their privacy protection and the protection of their data and devices to a trusted third party (an individual or an institution) - either globally or for specific areas such as web browser settings, smartphone configuration, privacy settings in social networks. We also aim to investigate and identify, how such delegation can be made secure and verifiable.
Furthermore, we focus on how non-expert end users can communicate, in particular by using mobile devices, over the Internet in a usable, confidential fashion, while ensuring the authenticity of the communication and partners. Beside usability we also aim to explore and consider end user acceptance.

Funding body: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Partners: Follow the link.

Funding period: 01.10.2015 – 31.03.2018

Contact: Oksana Kulyk, Birgit Henhapl

Doctoral College 2050: Privacy and Trust for Mobile Users

The Doctoral College "Privacy and Trust for Mobile Users" is a highly interdisciplinary collaboration between Computer Science and the fields of Law, Economics, Sociology, and usability research. Mobile information and communication technology has become virtually ubiquitous due to the proliferation of smartphones and tablet computers; large sections of the society use it to their advantage. In reference to the relationship users-network, public debates highlight the increasing transparency of users - in the sense of a surveillance society - while the network is deemed to become increasingly nontransparent, i.e. inscrutable. As an important technological vision, the project will conduct research in to novel mobile devices that enable maximum control for the user.

Our research: AlterEgo as Assistant for Trustworthiness Assessments: The AlterEgo should decide whether to trust a service, sensor or social network or not. Therefore, it needs to know the users’ preferences. Correspondingly, during the setup phase, users configure their AlterEgo.

The first goal in this project is to identify what should be configurable – obviously not each individual possible future situation but some sort of sets of general situations. The first challenge is to identify such sets that allow users to phrase generalized preferences which at the same time are concrete enough to be applied in various actual situations. This is particularly challenging due to legal conditions, complex interrelations between different situations and related risks depending on the actual configuration, and due to the different mental models of possible users.

The second goal in this project is to handle individual situations based on individual preferences (configured during the setup). Therefore, the trustworthiness of the individual situation needs to be deduced based on multi-dimensional trust measurements. These measurements need to be adjusted to make them applicable for this project. Finally it is necessary to handle situations which users want to define as exception.

Project site

Partner: Several groups at TU Darmstadt and Kassel University

Period: 01.10.2015 - 31.09.2019

Contact: Melanie Volkamer

KMU Aware - Awareness im Mittelstand

Small and medium sized enterprises (SME; in German: KMU) face new and emerging challenges in protecting themselves against digital attacks. This is exacerbated by the trend towards digital processing and paperless offices.  Possible consequences of successful attacks are reputational damage, financial loss or reduction in customer base. The project KMU AWARE, which is supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, aims to assist German KMUs in their ability to identify and fend off possible dangers associated with the use of the Internet.
We are working together with our project partner usd in developing an awareness and educational platform that is closely aligned with the actual needs and requirements of SME. On one hand, existing promising approaches can be adapted and incorporated into the platform. On the other hand, new and innovative concepts and measures will be developed as required, prompted by so-called Teachable Moments. The new measures will be evaluated with regard to their efficacy before being rolled out to companies countrywide.

Project site.

Funding body: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

Partner: usd AG

Period: 1.4.2015 – 31.3.2018

Contact: Melanie Volkamer

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