Content overview


Welcome to KASTEL Security Research Labs

The Competence Center for Applied Security Technology (KASTEL) is a competence center for cyber security initiated by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Following the motto "Comprehensible security in the networked world“, KASTEL addresses the challenges posed by the increasing interconnection of previously isolated systems. Of particular importance are the consequences of digitalization in the area of critical infrastructures, for example in the energy industry, in networked mobility or in industrial production.

KASTEL bundles the competencies in the field of IT security at the research location Karlsruhe. The goal is to develop a comprehensive approach instead of isolated partial solutions. The focus will be on comprehensive security in specific application areas, such as power grids, smart mobility, or intelligent factories.

To ensure this security, new threats must be modeled, security objectives described and new methods developed. This can only be achieved through collaboration between cryptographers, IT security specialists, software engineers, network experts, jurists, economists and social scientists - as is the case here at KASTEL.

KASTEL started in 2011 with a term of four years. After a successful evaluation in 2014, the term was extended by the BMBF, and after another successful scientific evaluation and a strategic assessment by the Helmholtz Association, it was finally decided to permanently fund KASTEL.

The KASTEL Institute of Information Security and Reliability at KIT, part of the KASTEL Security Research Labs, can be found here.



Amr Tj. Wallas wins first prize in the Telekom Challenge

Amr Tj. Wallas, research assistant at KASTEL, won the first prize in this year's Telekom Challenge together with Jeannine Born from TU Dresden. With his research group, he developed an approach to protect smart homes from attacks by automatic segmentation of the networks. The software and cloud architecture they developed detects IoT devices with high security risks and isolates them from the overall network, protecting them from potential attacks. With their innovative ideas for secure data distribution in the home networks of the future, the team beat out 180 participants to win 150,000 euros.

Further information
Current developments in the context of online elections

According to a Bitkom survey for Germany, two thirds of the participants are in favour of online voting in German federal elections. In a recently published paper, the research group SECUSO, the KIT institutes KASTEL and ITAS, together with other researchers, explain why it is much more difficult to secure an online election than, for example, digital shopping. In addition, the paper offers a discussion of some online elections that have been carried out in Germany as well as some explanations of existing requirements catalogues.

Paper (in German)
SECUSO at the KIT science week

KIT Science Week will take place for the first time from October 5 to 10, 2021. The SECUSO research group will organize a workshop called “Digital Self-Defense - NoPhish”. The motto of the first KIT Science Week is artificial intelligence and has the title “Der Mensch im Zentrum lernender Systeme” (the human being in the center of learning systems). It will combine a high-ranking international scientific conference with dialog formats for the public.

Read the full programme
Digital voting - Prof. Volkamer in the latest episode of the “Telekom Netz” Podcast

Prof. Melanie Volkamer, head of the SECUSO research group, explains in the latest episode of the “Telekom Netz” podcast, why we won’t have electronic voting for the upcoming federal election in Germany. Despite the often cited “digital boost” due to the pandemic, Germany is far away from having secure online voting systems. Currently, mainly “Black-Box” systems are in use, where the users cannot reliably detect manipulations. For secure online voting, end-to-end-verifiable systems are mandatory.

Listen to the Podcast
Melanie Volkamer on Usable Security & Privacy at the 10th “Frankfurter IT-Rechtstag”

Save the date: Prof. Melanie Volkamer, head of the SECUSO research group, will give a talk on “Usable Security & Privacy: Forschungsansätze - Ergebnisse und Diskussion zur Unterstützung des Rechts” at the 10th Frankfurter IT-Law day. The event will take place as an in-person session from November 19 - 20, 2021 in Frankfurt/Main. Further information will be published soon. The conference is organized by davit, the Information Technology section of the German Association of Lawyers (“Deutscher Anwaltverein”).

More information on the event
Voting the parliament by clicking

Melanie Volkamer had an extensive conversation with Adrian Hartschuh from the newspaper "Die Rheinpfalz".

The topic was e-voting and the demand of end-to-end verifiable electronic voting systems.

Find more information about the conversation and e-voting in the article (German only).

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