Spanish National Research Council · University of Seville
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Funding for the research activities carried out at IMSE-CNM comes primarily from the participation in competitive tender processes. The research is then conducted out via agreements, projects and contracts with national and international public organizations and private companies and organizations.

Hardware-based Security for Blockchain Technologies
PI: Iluminada Baturone Castillo
Type: Research project
Reference: RTC-20176595-7
Funding Body: Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades
Start date: 2018
End date: 2020
Funding: 175.170,00 €
Abstract: Objectives of the project:
· The main objective of HardBlock project is to develop a blockchain technology able to reduce the scalability problems of public blockchains.
· The new concepts of Proofs of Physical Existence and Proofs of Physical Presence will be exploited to reduce the highly maintenance costs of Proofs of Work.
· New hardware elements will be designed and implemented to support the Proofs of Physical Existence, providing the unique identification of things and avoiding tampering and counterfeiting.
· New hardware elements will be designed and implemented to support the Proofs of Physical Presence using biometrics. The objective is the user authentication with the highest authentication level (AAL3 according to NIST SP 800-63): using a compact and tamper-resistant device, under the control of the user, and with template protection.
· HardBlock will provide secure key exchange without using trusted third parties and avoiding man-in-the-middle attacks, and will exploit the use of post-quantum algorithms mainly based on lattice cryptography.
· The project will explore new application fields such as the combination of Internet of Things (IoT) with blockchain technologies.

Design of hardware solutions to manage people and things identities with trust, security, and privacy in IoT ecosystem
PI: Iluminada Baturone Castillo / Piedad Brox Jiménez web
Type: Research project
Reference: TEC2017-83557-R
Funding Body: Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades
Start date: 2018
End date: 2020
Funding: 139.150,00 €
Abstract: In the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem, people will be surrounded by a growing number of smart devices with sensors and actuators, which capture information about our environments and act upon them autonomously (our cities, homes, cars or bycicles and even our body). As a matter of fact, people already interact more with or through these devices instead of interacting directly. The IoT infraestructure is aimed at improving our quality of life, but if it is not trust, secure and does not guarantee our privacy, the consequences can be catastrophic.
A first challenging aspect is to ensure that individuals and devices are trusted and authentic and, hence, that their identities are resistant to impersonation and counterfeiting. Since the physical nature of an IoT device lies in the hardware it is made of, HW-IDENTIoTY project will design hardware solutions based on physical unclonable functions (PUFs) to generate inherent identities of devices. Since the unique features of a person can be captured by a biometric recognition system, HW-IDENTIoTY project will design hardware solutions to implement lightweight biometric recognition techniques that could be implemented in a wearable, so that the digital identity of the person is generated locally by a trusted device under the supervision of the identity owner.
A second critical issue is to guarantee privacy. For this purpose, the digital identities will be transformed in such a way that the resulting data cannot be attributed to a specific individual or device without the use of additional information. HW-IDENTIoTY project will design hardware solutions to implement Helper Data algorithms in the case of devices and template protection techniques in the case of individuals.
The third aspect addressed will be the design of hardware solutions robust against attacks to implement cryptographic primitives paradigm. They will be related to symmetric and lightweight cryptography in the case of wearables (with constrained resources and low-power consumption requirements) and to elliptic curve cryptography in the case of embedded systems. The availability of counterfeit-resistant identities will be exploited to address problems associated with digital chains of custody and traceability in IoT.

Design of crypto-biometric hardware for video encryption and authentication
PI: Iluminada Baturone Castillo / Piedad Brox Jiménez web
Type: Research project
Reference: TEC2014-57971-R
Funding Body: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad
Start date: 01/01/2015
End date: 31/12/2018
Funding: 187.550,00 €
Abstract: As more and more individuals and devices (Iaptops, tablets, smartphones, cameras, etc.) are interconnected through public networks, it is essential to ensure that the information exchanged (multimedia many times) really comes from individuals and devices that must generate, store, or process it. The generation of cryptographic keys from the intrinsic nature of devices or individuals not only ensures their digital identity when they access or provide information but also allow the encryption and authentication of such information, bonding it to the counterfeit-resistant identities.
Since a cryptographic system is as secure as its secret key, there is a growing interest in increasing the security of cryptographic key storage by using specific hardware, rather than just having software solutions. This is the reason why digital hardware (crypto-modules) will be designed in ID-EO project to generate the keys when needed instead of storing them, always involving the authentic device or individual designated to generate them. Moreover, they will be able to generate truly random numbers and identifíers. The modules will offer diversification, because they can generate different keys from the same identity, and revocability, because if one key is compromised, a new one can be generated at a new registration process.
The design of crypto-modules that could provide such functionality would find a very wide range of applications. In particular, a natural application domain is embedded vision systems that would become 'chains of trust', ensuring the authenticity of the system ítself and the confidentiality, privacy and integrity of the video captured and processed by the system. Nowadays, the proliferation of communications and web technologies has created an environment in which the security of the images and videos that are transmitted or stored in open channels is questioned. This is the reason why trust embedded vision systems will be designed in the ID-EO project, capable of real-time video selective encryption and authentication with constrained resources and low-power consumption.