CWI introduces Computer Security research group

To make society, with its digital and physical infrastructures, a safer place, CWI introduces a new research group: Computer Security. Group leader is Marten van Dijk, who is very experienced in security research in both academia and industry. Van Dijk's aim is to combine a rigorous cryptographic style of thinking with security engineering, focusing on secure computing environments. The group’s research has four pillars: formal methods, cyber-physical system security (including hardware security), secure processor technology and key management, and machine learning and security. A subgroup is Formal Methods, which has a long and impressive history at CWI.

Marten van Dijk is a very experienced computer security researcher. After finishing his PhD, he did research at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and at Philips Research Lab, where he became the lead inventor of the error correcting codes used in Blu-ray discs.

In 2001 Van Dijk moved to the USA, where he worked consecutively at the MIT Computer Science and AI Lab, RSA Labs, and, as a full professor, at the University of Connecticut. At RSA Labs, he co-designed the awarded IRIS authenticated file system, and studied, among others, fully homomorphic encryption over integers, which was nominated for Best Paper Award at Eurocrypt 2010. At MIT CSAIL, he worked with Srini Devadas on processor architectures that offer strong security guarantees. This led to the introduction of the first circuit realizations of Physical Unclonable Functions (PUFs), for which Van Dijk received the IEEE and ACM A. Richard Newton Technical Impact Award in Electronic Design Automation in 2015. It also led to the design of Aegis, the first single-chip secure processor that verifies integrity and freshness of external memory, and it gave rise to a simple and efficient Oblivious RAM, which received the Best Paper Award of the ACM CCS Conference in 2013.

Van Dijk has also published on hardware security such as hardware Trojans and secure supply chain management, and on topics related to cyber physical system security. He worked with Intel-SGX, studied the security of cloud FPGAs as a new paradigm and started research in adversarial machine learning and differential privacy for federated learning. He envisions continued research in secure computation environments for robust intelligence.

Van Dijk says: “I am very excited to have started here: CWI is a fantastic challenge for me, professionally. Security intersects with many disciplines, such as machine learning, database systems, computer architecture, programming languages, cryptography and algorithms. This reflects my own curiosity and interest in studying new areas. I hope to discover many more areas of expertise and set up inspiring collaborations with universities and businesses. I also hope that I will teach students, help contribute to making Dutch security more diverse and maybe offer a short online lecture series that can also be used by universities. I am looking forward to continue meeting many people in the Netherlands, as I did in the last few months.”


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Header image: CWI.jpg

Icon image: CWI Marten van Dijk