Seminar: Side-Channel Attacks on Software

Form: Seminar - 3CP (2 SWS)
Organizer: Prof. Dr. Heiko Mantel
Time and Place: Block seminar, tentative dates:
Thursday, June 1, Friday, June 2, and Monday, June 5, 2023
in room S2|02 A213
(please reserve all the 3 days, the exact schedule will be determined depending on the actual number of participants)
Language: English
Registration: in TUCaN (course id 20-00-1173-se)
Max. participants: 20
Preparation meeting: Tuesday, April 18 at 14:25
in room S2|02 E202
Will be provided in the preparation meeting.


Materials for the seminar, including the list of articles that we discuss, will be available in Moodle.


Distributed systems are made up of multiple independent nodes, working together through some messaging service. Security in such systems poses unique challenges, as they feature an augmented attack surface, heterogeneous platforms, and multilateral security interests. This has made securing distributed IT systems a non-trivial challenge, which has become an active research area in recent years.

In this seminar we connect contemporary challenges of securing distributed systems to the possibilities of modern, language-based approaches to IT security. Language-based approaches to security exploit properties of formal languages (i.e., of programming and specification languages) that are used in system construction.  The use of semantic-based program analyses enables one to reliably check security requirements. The use of run-time mechanisms and of program transformations enables one to establish additional security guarantees.  That is, language-based security can be employed both, for security certification and for hardening systems.

Learning Objectives

After successful participation in the course, you will be able to widen and deepen your understanding by studying relevant literature. You learn ways to assess research results, to compare results, and to put them into context with related work. You get familiar with the content of at least one publication in detail, and you are able to present the key aspects to a heterogeneous audience using slides. You learn to engage in a scientific discussion based on your presentation, and you are able to argue for your viewpoints. In addition, you learn to use a discussion for resolving your unclarities after talks of other students.


Knowledge of Computer Science and Mathematics equivalent to the first four semesters in the Computer Science Bachelor program, in particular, competence in at least one programming language, basic knowledge of IT-security, distributed systems, and formal methods.

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