UROP Project

Network Security in Critical Infrastructures and the Internet of Things



Daniel Holder

Program Director UROP


+49 241 80-90695


Key Info

Basic Information

Project Offer-Number:
UROP International
Computer Science
Organisation unit:
Communication and Distributed Systems (Informatik 4)
Language Skills:
Fluency in English


Communication networks of critical infrastructures and industrial deployments get increasingly interconnected, e.g., via the Internet. Irrefutable advantages of this development are higher efficiency and cost savings, e.g., by remote control. However, formerly isolated environments offer a larger attack surface. Hence, security measures are indispensable to protect such deployments. We perform Internet measurements to describe what industrial devices and deployments of critical infrastructures are connected to the Internet and whether operators configure them securely. Furthermore, we target to reduce the impact of attackers having physical access to on-field devices by employing Trusted Execution Environments. The exact project topic, methods, and outcome will be defined later, depending on our research progress and/or your interests and skills. General information on our research environment is available at https://www.comsys.rwth-aachen.de/research/security-and-privacy/ .


What we offer: This is an excellent opportunity for you to actively engage in and contribute to original research in the area of security and privacy in industrial contexts and environments of critical infrastructures, fields that are rapidly evolving at the moment. RWTH Aachen University offers an excellent, interdisciplinary research environment, which stimulates cooperation between research groups inside and outside the department of computer science. Our group is home to a crowd of enthusiastic Bachelor, Master, and Ph.D. students and offers an attractive work environment full of creativity. For the project, we will provide you with a workplace in one of our project rooms and all other necessary infrastructure. You will interact closely with your supervisor as well as other researchers on a daily basis.


What we expect: Your project will describe a small, independent block of research that you are responsible for and which you will be able to undertake independently with the help of your supervisor. Research in our group typically consists of the design, implementation, and evaluation of communication systems or performing Internet measurements and analyzing the results. For this topic, you should be interested in computer networking, security, and privacy and have solid programming skills, preferably in Python, Go, and/or C/C++. You should also have basic Linux skills. Knowledge of the concepts of secure communication protocols (such as TLS or IPsec), the (Industrial) Internet of Things or power grids is a plus but not mandatory. You should have curiosity, an independent working method, and the willingness to bring in and discuss your own ideas and solutions. If you feel interested in this opportunity, we welcome you to apply!