Cryptography is the science of information encryption that explores the basics of IT security and develops cryptographic algorithms. Among other things, Prof. Faust and his team consider novel attack models in which attackers exploit weak points in the implementation of a cryptographic algorithm. For example, attackers can completely circumvent the safeguards on modern smart cards or smartphones by measuring the power consumption of the device or deliberately installing backdoors in the cryptographic software. In order to prevent such and similar attacks, the Cryptography Section develops new cryptographic protection mechanisms.
Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technologies are another research focus of Prof. Faust. The best-known blockchain-based payment method is Bitcoin, but also Ethereum, a distributed system in which complex, so-called smart contracts can be executed locally, enjoys great popularity. Smart contracts enable automated payments to be linked to any complex program-controlled conditions. For example, dividend payments of a share or mechanisms for crowdfunding can be fully automated and without middlemen.
Prof. Dr. Sebastian Faust has been a member of the Department of Computer Science since 2017. He heads the department Applied Cryptography. He obtained his doctorate in 2010 at the KU Leuven in Belgium. Afterwards, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Danish Aarhus University, before receiving a Marie Curie IEF scholarship at the EPFL in Switzerland and later an assistant professor at the Ruhr University Bochum. He now holds a full professorship in Darmstadt.