Felix Günther

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I am a Research Staff Member in the Foundational Cryptography group at IBM Research Zurich. My research focuses on real-world cryptographic systems, contributing to the security of Internet security protocols like TLS, QUIC, or Signal and their cryptographic building blocks.

Previously, I was a senior researcher in the Applied Cryptography Group at ETH Zurich led by Kenny Paterson. Earlier and supported by a research fellowship of the German Research Foundation (DFG), I was a postdoctoral researcher at ETH Zurich and in the Security and Cryptography Group at UC San Diego working with Mihir Bellare. I obtained my Ph.D. in Computer Science from Technische Universität Darmstadt in 2018 under the supervision of Marc Fischlin in the Cryptography and Complexity Theory (Cryptoplexity) Group, and, earlier, M.Sc. degrees in Computer Science and IT Security from TU Darmstadt. I am a member of the IACR.

Research Interests

As an applied cryptographer, I am interested in how cryptography enables computer and network security, and in provable cryptographic security more specifically. My work aims to narrow the gap between the theoretical understanding and practical security of real-world cryptographic systems. I especially focus on Internet cryptographic protocols such as TLS, QUIC, or Signal, studying their security and concrete parameters, as well as constructing new cryptographic building blocks for improved security. In doing so, my work broadly encompasses formal modeling of cryptographic properties and assumptions, designing provably-secure cryptographic systems, rigorous security analyses of real-world protocols and primitives, and contributing to security standards.

News

2024-01-24Looking forward to talking about our work on Verifiable Verification [7] (with Marc Fischlin) and to Shannon Veitch presenting our ongoing work on Obfuscated Key Exchange (with Douglas Stebila) at Real World Crypto 2024.
2024-01-16We have a great set of affiliated events lined up at Eurocrypt 2024 which I am happy to co-chair, hosted at ETH Zurich, May 25–26, 2024.
2023-10-10Our paper Robust Channels: Handling Unreliable Networks in the Record Layers of QUIC and DTLS 1.3 [2] (with Marc Fischlin and Christian Janson) was accepted to the Journal of Cryptology.
2023-10-01I am excited to join IBM Research Zurich as a Research Staff Member.

Academic Career and Education

since 2023Research Staff Member at IBM Research Europe – Zurich
since 2023Lecturer (Dozent) at the Department of Computer Science at ETH Zurich
2022–2023Senior researcher in the Applied Cryptography Group at ETH Zurich

Working with: Prof. Kenneth G. Paterson

2019–2022Postdoctoral researcher in the Applied Cryptography Group at ETH Zurich

Working with: Prof. Kenneth G. Paterson

2018–2019Postdoctoral researcher in the Security and Cryptography Group at UC San Diego

Working with: Prof. Mihir Bellare

2018Postdoctoral researcher in the Cryptoplexity Group at TU Darmstadt

Working with: Prof. Marc Fischlin

2013–2018Ph.D. in Computer Science, TU Darmstadt

Thesis: Modeling Advanced Security Aspects of Key Exchange and Secure Channel Protocols [43]
Advisor: Prof. Marc Fischlin

2010–2013M.Sc. in Computer Science, TU Darmstadt
M.Sc. in IT Security, TU Darmstadt
2007–2010B.Sc. in Computer Science, TU Darmstadt

Grants, Awards, and Honors

2018–2020DFG (German Research Foundation) Research Fellowship Grant Foundations and Real-World Aspects of Secure Cryptographic Connections, carried out at UC San Diego and ETH Zurich
2019ACM SIGSAC Doctoral Dissertation Award for Outstanding PhD Theses in Computer and Information Security
2019Dr.-Heinz-Sebiger Dissertation Award on Data Protection and IT Security of the DATEV-Stiftung Zukunft foundation
2019Best paper award at ESORICS 2019 for [21]
2019ERCIM (European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics) STM WG Award for the Best Ph.D. Thesis on Security and Trust Management
2019Runner-up for the CAST/German Informatics Society Doctoral Dissertation Award in IT Security (CAST/GI Promotionspreis IT-Sicherheit)
2017, 2018Collaboration Award 2017 for [22] and 2018 for [4] of the collaborative research center CROSSING at TU Darmstadt
2018Best lecture award for lecture Real World Crypto, TU Darmstadt, summer term 2017 (teaching assistant, award for overall lecture by the computer science student's body, based on evaluations by students)
2015Best student paper award at ACISP 2015 for [31]
2011CAST Advancement Award IT Security (CAST-Förderpreis IT-Sicherheit): 2nd prize in category "Bachelor and Study Theses" for my bachelor thesis [45]
2007–2013Scholarship from the German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes)

Professional Activities

Program Chairs

Program Commitee (PC) Memberships

  • ACM CCS 2024 (ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security)
  • CRYPTO 2022, 2020, 2019 (International Cryptography Conference)
  • EUROCRYPT 2022 (International Conference on the Theory and Applications of Cryptology and Information Security)
  • IEEE S&P 2023 (IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy)
  • SSR 2022, 2020 (Security Standardisation Research Conference)
  • EPIQ 2021 (Workshop on the Evolution, Performance and Interoperability of QUIC)
  • QUIPS 2020 (QUIC Privacy and Security Workshop)

Award Committee Memberships

Peer Reviewing for Scientific Conferences and Journals

  • 2024: EUROCRYPT
  • 2023: EUROCRYPT
  • 2022: SCN, ACM CCS
  • 2021: EUROCRYPT, CRYPTO, ACM CCS
  • 2020: Journal of Cryptology, ASIACRYPT
  • 2019: EUROCRYPT, ACM CCS, Journal of Cryptology
  • 2018: ACM CCS
  • 2017: EUROCRYPT, PKC, ACISP, Latincrypt
  • 2016: CRYPTO
  • 2015: Latincrypt, ACM CCS
  • 2014: INFOCOM, TCC, ACNS, ASIACRYPT, Elsevier Information Processing Letters
  • 2013: Elsevier Computer Communications Journal

Grant Reviewing

  • DFG – German Research Foundation 2023

General Chairs & Organization of Events

May 2024EUROCRYPT 2024 Affiliated Events Chair
April 2023SSR 2023 General Chair
May 2019EUROCRYPT 2019 Affiliated Events Chair

Other Activities

Sep 2018Lecturer at the ECRYPT-NET School on Integrating Advanced Cryptography with Applications

Contributions to Standards, Research Impact, and Media Attention

Teaching

ETH Zurich

spring semester 2024 Applied Cryptography (co-lecturing with Kenny Paterson, Florian Tramèr)
spring semester 2023 Applied Cryptography (co-lecturing with Kenny Paterson)
autumn semester 2022 Teaching assistant for the course Informatik I by Manuela Fischer and Ralf Sasse
spring semester 2022 Teaching assistant and lecture contribution for the course Applied Cryptography by Kenny Paterson
autumn semester 2021 Teaching assistant for the course Informatik I by Carlos Cotrini and Ralf Sasse
autumn semester 2021 Lecture contribution to the course Information Security Lab by Kenny Paterson
spring semester 2021 Teaching assistant and lecture contribution for the course Applied Cryptography by Kenny Paterson
autumn semester 2020 Co-coordination of the seminar Current Topics in Information Security by Srdjan Capkun, Kenny Paterson, and Adrian Perrig
spring semester 2020 Co-coordination of the seminar Current Topics in Cryptography by Kenny Paterson, Dennis Hofheinz, and Ueli Maurer
spring semester 2020 Lecture contribution to the course Applied Cryptography by Kenny Paterson

University of California San Diego

winter quarter 2019 TLS Crypto Seminar

Graduate-level (informal) seminar with both lectures and paper presentations

Technische Universität Darmstadt

winter term 2018/2019 Organization of the graduate-level seminar Reading the Crypto Classics
summer term 2018 Teaching assistant for the lecture Real World Crypto by Marc Fischlin
summer term 2018 Organization of the graduate-level seminar Reading the Crypto Classics
winter term 2017/2018 Organization of the graduate-level seminar Reading the Crypto Classics
summer term 2017 Teaching assistant for the lecture Real World Crypto by Marc Fischlin

(Best lecture award for overall lecture, by the computer science student's body, based on evaluations by students)

winter term 2016/2017 Teaching assistant for the research seminar Research-Oriented Cryptography by Marc Fischlin
winter term 2015/2016 Teaching assistant for the lecture Functional and Object-oriented Programming Concepts (Funktionale und objektorientierte Programmierkonzepte, ex. Grundlagen der Informatik 1) by Marc Fischlin
winter term 2013/2014 Teaching assistant for the lecture Introduction to Computer Science 1 (Grundlagen der Informatik 1) by Marc Fischlin
winter term 2011/2012 Tutor for the lecture Introduction to Cryptography (Einführung in die Kryptographie) by Marc Fischlin

Advising

  • Younis Khalil (Master thesis, Jan 2023–Aug 2023). Implementing a Secure Cloud Storage System.
    Co-Advisors: Kenneth G. Paterson, Matilda Backendal. ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
  • Younis Khalil (Semester project, Aug 2022–Jan 2023). Implementing a Puncturable Key Wrapping Library.
    Co-Advisors: Kenneth G. Paterson, Matilda Backendal. ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
  • Marc Ilunga Tshibumbu Mukendi (Master thesis, Jan 2022–Aug 2022). Analysis of the EDHOC Lightweight Authenticated Key Exchange Protocol.
    Co-Advisors: Kaveh Razavi, Kenneth G. Paterson. ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
  • Radwa Sherif Abdelbar (Master thesis, Mar 2021–Sep 2021). Post-Quantum KEM-based TLS with Pre-Shared Keys.
    Co-Advisors: Kenneth G. Paterson, Patrick Towa. ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
  • Nicolas Klose (Master thesis, Oct 2020–Mar 2021). Characterizing Notions for Secure Cryptographic Channels.
    Co-Advisor: Kenneth G. Paterson. ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
  • Mihael Liskij (Master thesis, Sep 2020–Mar 2021). A Survey of TLS 1.3 0-RTT Usage.
    Co-Advisor: Kenneth G. Paterson. ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
  • Alexandre Poirrier (Master thesis, Sep 2020–Mar 2021). Continuous Authentication in Secure Messaging.
    Co-Advisor: Kenneth G. Paterson, Benjamin Dowling. ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
  • Matilda Backendal (Master thesis, Jan 2019–Jun 2019). Puncturable Symmetric KEMs for Forward-Secret 0-RTT Key Exchange.
    Co-Advisor: Thomas Johansson. Lund University, Sweden.

Picture of Felix Günther

Dr. Felix Günther
IBM Research Europe – Zurich

Postal address:
Säumerstrasse 4
8803 Rüschlikon
Switzerland

Email:mail[DELETE-THIS]@felixguenther.info
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