Short Portrait


The chair for Embedded Security (EMSEC) is headed by Christof Paar and is one of the core groups which form the Horst Görtz Institute for IT-Security, one of Europe's top institutions in cybersecurity at the Ruhr University Bochum. The group works on all aspect of embedded security.

This include hardware security including protection against hardware Trojans, physical attacks (e.g. through side-channel analysis), security analysis of real-world systems, human aspects in reverse engineering and physical-layer security. Also, the group studies security in emerging application domains, e.g., automotive security. An overview of the research areas can be found here. In 1999 Christof Paar co-founded the Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems (CHES) conference series, which has evolved into the largest international conference in applied cryptography. The EMSEC group is heavily involved in the popular BS and MS programs in IT security. Typically, the group consist of about 10 research assistants working on their Ph.D., and post-docs and often also of visiting researchers.

In 2003, the spin-off ESCRYPT GmbH was founded, which was acquired by Bosch in 2012. ESCRYPT ist today market leader for automotive security. Our group has generated several other spin-offs, including Kasper-Oswald GmbH, PHYSEC GmbH and emproof GmbH. For more info see our spin-off listing.

Historical Remarks about the Chair

From 1995-2001, Christof Paar was on the faculty of the ECE Department of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), Massachusetts, USA (first as assistant professor, later as tenured associate professor). At WPI, he founded the Cryptography and Information Security (CRIS) Labs. After almost seven years, Christof Paar assumed the chair for Communication Security at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. Three Ph.D. students of the CRIS Labs (Jorge Guajardo, André Weimerskirch, and Thomas Wollinger) also moved from WPI to Bochum. Currently, Christof Paar is Affiliated Full Professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. In the year 2008, the chair for Communication Security has been renamed chair for Embedded Security.