ATHENE double victory at the 8th German IT Security Award


Great success for Darmstadt´s cybersecurity research

At the 8th German IT Security Award, ATHENE scientiests achieved the top two placements. The first place, that was endowed with 100.000 EURO, went to Dr. Haya Shulman from the Fraunhofer SIT for the cache test she developed, a solution to improve internet security. The second place, that was endowed with EUR 60.000 EURO, went to ContactGuard, and thus to the team of ATHENE scientists Prof. Thomas Schneider and Christian Weinert from the Technical University of Darmstadt, Matthias Senker from APIIDA AG, as well as Prof. Christian Rechberger and Daniel Kales and from the Technical University of Graz.



ATHENE scientist Dr. Haya Shulman from Fraunhofer SIT won the first prize and thus secured prize money of 100.000 euros. She received the award for the development of "Cache Test", a cybersecurity solution for the protection of Internet infrastructures. Using the "cache test", manufacturers and operators can automatically test the security of their DNS products and infrastructures against so-called cache poisoning attacks. These attacks can, for example, lead to Internet users being redirected to fake web pages and thus being tricked into revealing sensitive data and passwords. They are also the basis for very far-reaching attacks through which telephone calls can be tapped or web certificates can be forged.

The ATHENE security researchers Prof. Thomas Schneider and Christian Weinert from the ENCRYPTO department at the Computer Science Department at the  Technical University of Darmstadt were honored with the second place (60.000 euros). They received the award together with Technical University of Darmstadt graduate Matthias Senker as well as Prof. Christian Rechberger and Daniel Kales (both Technical University of Graz) for "ContactGuard", the development of a privacy-protecting procedure for establishing contacts in messenger services. With "ContactGuard", address books can be synchronized securely in the future without users having to compromise on data protection or privacy. On the one hand, "Contact Guard" relies on a protective mechanism, and on the other, it uses innovative, efficient cryptographic protocols.

The two excellent research and development results arose from projects that were financed by ATHENE with funds from the Federal Ministry of Research (BMBF) and the Hessian Ministry of Science and Art (HMWK). The winners were selected in a multi-stage process by an independent jury using objective criteria. There were a total of 46 submissions, of which eleven projects in the areas of blockchain security, email account protection, hardware security, internet security, privacy protection, software security and protection of corporate networks were nominated.

For the first time, the award ceremony took place as part of a new cooperation format between the Horst Görtz Foundation, Bitkom, the National Research Center for Applied Cybersecurity ATHENE, the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology SIT and the Digital Hub Cybersecurity.

Information on the  German IT Security Award 

Information on the Horst Görtz Foundation 




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