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.



Human Factors in IT Security

Prof. Melanie Volkamer will talk about human factors in IT security as part of the event “Nichts sehen. Nichts hören. Nichts sagen.” from the Karlsruher IT security initiative (KA-IT-Si) on October 21, 2021. In the talk, Prof. Volkamer will discuss which security awareness measurements should be implemented as part of the IT security in companies. She will further explain, why awareness is an important precondition for an effective IT security concept. Registration is requested by Tuesday, October 19. Participation is free of charge.

Further information and registration
KASTEL Distinguished Lecture #2: Finding vulnerabilities in embedded software

Second round for the KASTEL Distinguished Lectures Series: On November 12th, Prof. Christopher Kruegel will talk about “Finding vulnerabilities in Embedded Software”. Prof. Kruegel is Professor of Computer Science at UC Santa Barbara. He was also a co-founder of Lastline. In his talk, Prof. Krueger will discuss some of the static and dynamic analysis techniques that he has developed to address the challenges posted by proprietary software, which many of the devices use. The talk will be streamed online and participation is free of charge.

More information and registration
Presentation at TLA+ Conference 2021

At the TLA+ Conference 2021 on September 30, Matthias Grundmann presented a specification of Payment Channels in TLA+ and showed how this specification was used to specify and verify the security properties of Payment Channels. Payment Channels are a technology designed to allow instant and cost effective payments without custody between two or more people who use a cryptocurrency. TLA+ is a formal language for specifying systems used in industry and academia to verify complex distributed and concurrent systems. The TLA+ conference brings together industrial and academic users of the TLA+ specification language and its associated tools.

Link to the presentation
Presentation at BRAINS 2021

At the "3rd Conference on Blockchain Research & Applications for Innovative Networks and Services (BRAINS)", which took place from September 27 to 30, Oliver Stengele from the Decentralized Systems and Network Services (DSN) research group and Sebastian Friebe from the Telematics research group presented a case study on the coupling of smart contract applications that resulted from a collaboration within KASTEL.

Link to the presentation
Prof. Christian Wressnegger with lecture on the security of AI

As part of the KIT Science Week "Open Labs", Prof. Wressnegger will give a talk on Friday, October 8, on the security of AI and learning systems. Among other things, the talk will focus on the fact that often only the average performance of AI methods is considered, while worst case scenarios brought about by an attacker, in which AI does not work well, can have dramatic consequences. The talk ties in with the "Poison Ivy" project, in which Prof. Wressnegger and his team are researching data-based backdoors in AI applications and how to prevent them. The "Open Labs" are intended to provide insights into the work of KIT scientists.

Further information and registration
Escape-Room Cryptology at Science Week

The virtual Escape Room of the Lehr-Lern-Labor Informatik Karlsruhe offers children and young people the opportunity to learn about various encryption methods while solving different kinds of puzzles. Participants help the scientist Professor Mysterius find and decode clues in order to regain access to his research results. The Escape Room can be solved independently by 7th graders and up. The Lehr-Lern-Labor Informatik aims to promote computer science skills among students.

To the Escape Room