Special Issue "Physical Security in a Cryptographic Enviroment"

A special issue of Cryptography (ISSN 2410-387X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Wael Adi

IDA, Institute of Computer and Network Engineering, Technische Universitaet Braunschweig, Hans-Sommer Str. 66, D-38106 Braunschweig, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +49 531 391 5298
Fax: +49 531 391 5296
Interests: physical security, unclonable and clone-resistant architectures, Intellectual Property Right protection for VLSI design cores, Robot security, Vehicular Security, e-Money, e-Voting and Error correction techniques

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Physical security in cryptographic systems is an interdisciplinary and basic research area. In general, treating the physical properties of participating entities jointly with the cryptographic schemes involved is a complex issue due to its interdisciplinary nature. Physical Unclonable Functions (PUFs), as one such technology, have been introduced in the last two decades to fabricate physically unclonable units. Unclonable or non-replaceable physical units, in fact, represent a basic security anchor for resilient security systems. Emerging IoT (Internet of Things) and the contemporary efforts towards developing Smart Homes and Smart Cities—involving human beings, devices, structures and virtually “everything”—represent a great interdisciplinary challenge facing the security research community. The tendency towards worldwide global networking of “virtually everything” opens new, very essential security-relevant issues. System designers face unlimited borderless participating entities dealing with different state regulations and a variety of forensic, political and even cultural issues. Publications concerning physical security in the cryptographic environment is still far behind that of intensively-treated “soft” cryptographic techniques in public literature. One ultimate goal of physical security is to attain the same level as biological system security, which is still seen as the most robust physical security ever known. Bio-inspired security can therefore be seen as a good reference for physical security in modern systems. Biometrics have successfully been integrated in modern security systems. Mechatronic systems, and especially automotive systems demand ever higher “mechatronic security” techniques which are still far from being ready for real field applications.

This Special Issue on physical security is a step to stimulate more open scientific discussions on all issues related to this challenging topic.

Prof. Dr. Wael Adi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Cryptography is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Physical Cryptographic Security
  • Physically Unclonable Functions (PUFs)
  • Unclonable or Clone-Resistant Units/Devices/Entities
  • Unclonable or Clone-Resistant Structures
  • Side-Channel Attacks
  • Physical Security of Cryptographic Schemes
  • Bio-Inspired Security
  • Provable Physical Uniqueness
  • Automotive Physical security
  • Mechatronic Security
  • Biometric Security
  • Intellectual Property Protection

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle A Privacy-Preserving, Mutual PUF-Based Authentication Protocol
Cryptography 2017, 1(1), 3; doi:10.3390/cryptography1010003
Received: 5 October 2016 / Revised: 11 November 2016 / Accepted: 22 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3758 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
This paper describes an authentication protocol using a Hardware-Embedded Delay PUF called HELP. HELP derives randomness from within-die path delay variations that occur along the paths within a hardware implementation of a cryptographic primitive, such as AES or SHA-3. The digitized timing values
[...] Read more.
This paper describes an authentication protocol using a Hardware-Embedded Delay PUF called HELP. HELP derives randomness from within-die path delay variations that occur along the paths within a hardware implementation of a cryptographic primitive, such as AES or SHA-3. The digitized timing values which represent the path delays are stored in a database on a secure server (verifier) as an alternative to storing PUF response bitstrings. This enables the development of an efficient authentication protocol that provides both privacy and mutual authentication. The security properties of the protocol are analyzed using data collected from a set of Xilinx Zynq FPGAs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Security in a Cryptographic Enviroment)

Figure 1

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Robust Secure Data Storage with Perfect Secrecy
Author: Holger Boche
Abstract: We study the secure storage of the ouput of a data source on a public database.
In order to prevent unauthorized users from learning the ouput of the data source we make
use of the output of a biometric source or a physical unclonable function (PUF).
For idealized data sources we derive the capacity region for secure data storage, using protocols
that allow for controlling the privacy leakage and achieve perfect secrecy. We then regard
the output of the PUF source as a resource and consider a more general class of data sources.
We also derive the capacity region for this model requiring perfect secrecy and controllable
privacy leakage. In our considerations we take into account the case when the PUF source is not perfectly known.

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