Ulrich Rührmair is a full research professor and vice-director of the secure computation laboratory at the University of Connecticut, and a guest professor at LMU Munich. He holds a PhD in computer science from TU Berlin, a PhD in electrical engineering from TU Munich, and a MSc in mathematics from Oxford. Ulrich’s research interests include applied cryptography, hardware security, physical unclonable functions, and complexity theory at large, where he has co-authored around 100 papers in the past. He serves as associate editor at the IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security, Journal of Cryptographic Engineering, Journal of Hardware and System Security, and EURASIP Journal of Information Security. Ulrich is also the founder and steering committee chair of the ASHES workshop at ACM CCS, a steering committee member of the International Conference on Security, Privacy, and Applied Cryptographic Engineering (SPACE), and a co-speaker of the research focus on “Physics and Security” at the Center for Advanced Studies at LMU Munich.
Recent predictions assume that the IoT will encompass 42bn devices by 2025, arguably making it one of the largest endeavours mankind has ever undertaken. Its outstanding growth naturally creates new and unforeseen possibilities, but also unprecedented security issues. Three pressing and unsolved problems include how we can bring secret keys into billions of mobile and inexpensive devices; how we can effectively protect them there against adversarial access; and how security can still be upheld in the face of potentially untrusted hardware manufacturers. Our talk will sketch how the recent primitive of a Physical Unclonable Function (PUF) can be useful for all three abovementioned questions, showing that PUFs constitute an exceptionally promising tool for new forms of cost-effective, secure, and scalable networks.