We have a fully funded 3.5-year PhD Studentship on offer, from October 2014, for a research student to work on “Model-based assessment of compromising emanations”. The project aims to improve our understanding of electro-magnetic emissions that are unintentionally emitted by computing equipment, and the eavesdropping risks they pose. In particular, it aims to improve test and measurement procedures (TEMPEST) for computing equipment that processes extremely confidential data. We are looking for an Electrical Engineering, Computer Science or Physics graduate with an interest in electronics, software-defined radio, hardware security, side-channel cryptanalysis, digital signal processing, electromagnetic compatibility, or machine learning.
Check the full advert and contact Dr Markus Kuhn for more information if you are interested in applying, quoting NR03517. Application deadline: 23 June 2014.
2 thoughts on “PhD studentship: Model-based assessment of compromising emanations”
Some of the earliest work in this area was funded by the British Army and carried out at Blandford in Dorset. If GCHQ is going to sponsor more research by the Cambridge Security Group, then we can expect some fascinating new insights!
But there may be a dilemma: if the selected PhD student discovers something which she (and you) wish to publish but which GCHQ wants kept secret, what do you plan to do?
I intend to make sure that the outcome of the planned research will all be fully unclassified and published, and I don’t expect this to be a problem. However, to ensure the research is practically relevant, we expect to collaborate with government laboratories and manufacturers of TEMPEST equipment, and work at such facilities, where computers destined to handle top-secret data are being assembled and tested, is usually restricted to people with security clearance, and visitors without one can cause a lot of disruption. Therefore, our sponsor taking care of the relevant vetting bureaucracy may actually be a benefit for this particular project.