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Jacobs University

Bremen, Germany

Jacobs University student wins the Science Prize of the Society for Data Security

02 Dec 2016

For her Masters thesis on improving the security of data transmissions, Nazia Sarwat Islam has been awarded the Science Prize of the Society for Data Privacy and Data Security (GDD). In her research, the 27-year-old researcher is dealing, among other topics, with encryption technologies.

“Quantization Aspects in LDPC Decoding for Key Reconciliation Methods for a Reciprocal Channel”, is the title of her work. At its heart, it deals with more information security, for instance in WLAN connections. “Nazia Sarwat Islam has optimized codes that make it possible to correct possible key deviations. The keys are determined from physical characteristics of the connection, without a need for an infrastructure for key preparation. In principle, attackers cannot determine these keys, because they do not use the same physical channel,” says Professor Werner Henkel, in whose “Transmissions Systems” research group she is now working towards her PhD. 

Nazia Sarwat Islam received both her Bachelor and her Masters degrees at the international Jacobs University in the area of Electrical Engineering. Her Masters work was part of a larger project on physical-layer security. In general, data security is becoming increasingly important, and encryption methods using physical key generation are predestined for applications in the area of the “Internet of Things.”

“Our goal is to preclude possible attacks upon industrial facilities or household devices as much as possible – or at least make them more difficult,” says Nazia Sarwat Islam.  The research group founded by Werner Henkel in 2003 is working on a broad range of topics in the area of telecommunications and security; in addition, the group is also working  on the analysis of DNA together with colleagues from genetics.

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