Reliably Secure Software Systems (RS3) –
DFG Priority Programme 1496

TU Darmstadt Press release: Reliable Security Concepts

Final event of the initiative “Reliable Secure Software Systems”

International IT security scientists came together at castle Kranichstein in Darmstadt to share and discuss their results in order to build foundations for IT security in the future. The 3-day congress was organized by the DFG-funded national research initiative RS3.

International IT security experts came together in Darmstadt during the final event of the research initiative RS³. Image: Jessica Bagnoli

The national research initiative RS3, which started its work in 2010 and has been funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) with EUR 12 million, pushed forward a fundamental paradigm shift in IT security research. The researchers’ aim was the development of reliable security concepts that support this paradigm shift to improve software security.

To enable this paradigm shift, theoretical and methodological foundations were developed, analysis tools were constructed and evaluated in three reference scenarios. The scientists studied the software security of smartphones and illustrated their results using a self-developed prototypical app store that enhances security from the user’s perspective. Furthermore, they worked on secure e-voting and developed a conference management system with mathematical proven security guarantees that has already been used during international conferences.

Renowned guests during the final event

Fred B. Schneider from Cornell University during his speech. Image: Jessica Bagnoli

At the event, the computer scientists presented selected results of their projects. These presentations were accompanied by talks of renowned guests, such as Fred B. Schneider from Cornell University in the USA. He pointed out the need of an all-encompassing security for a society that is more and more dependent on computer networks in everyday life and that has to be protected against increasing attacks in the digital world. Schneider assumes that the fundamental approaches and results of the RS³ initiative will have a long-term influence on IT security in the future.

Philippa Gardner, Computer Science professor at Imperial College London, who researches on programme verification, also emphasised – in relation to the malware “WannaCry”, which tied up computers in hospitals, German railway company Deutsche Bahn and several other companies a few months ago – that there should be more investments in IT security and research: “We have a lot of work ahead of us.”

The scientific coordinator of RS3, Prof. Dr. Heiko Mantel, who is a professor in Computer Science at TU Darmstadt, is glad that the congress was such a success and a worthy conclusion of the research initiative: “RS3 has been a significant step in developing reliable foundations for software security further and transferring them to practice. By RS3, a scientific network was created, on which future research initiatives can build on. It is also great to see how the participating junior scientists developed themselves on a professional and personal level. Many have already achieved further carrier steps in Germany and abroad.” By now, six professors, sixteen doctoral graduates and numerous master and bachelor graduates emanated from RS3.

Jessica Bagnoli / Natalie Wocko

Press release on website of TU Darmstadt