Cybersecurity Blog of Fraunhofer AISEC

IoT Security
Katharina Bogad

So you want to play with Wi-Fi? It’s dangerous to make frames alone. Take this.

While Wi-Fi communication encryption faces much scrutiny, programming errors in drivers and firmware of embedded devices lack third-party pentesting. In this blog article, our Embedded Security expert Katharina Bogad provides insights in automatic (fuzz) testing of 802.11 firmware and drivers, explains why it is necessary to arbitrarily alter a wireless connection and explores the hardware and software requirements to do so. Further she discusses how to use the monitor mode for passive listening and frame injection and closes with a section of assorted pitfalls.

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Trusted Artificial Intelligence
Nicolas Müller

AI – All that a machine learns is not gold

Machine learning is being hailed as the new savior. As the hype around artificial intelligence (AI) increases, trust is being placed in it to solve even the most complex of problems. Results from the lab back up these expectations. Detecting a Covid-19 infection using X-ray images or even speech, autonomous driving, automatic deepfake recognition — all of this is possible using AI under laboratory conditions. Yet when these models are applied in real life, the results are often less than adequate. Why is that? If machine learning is viable in the lab, why is it such a challenge to transfer it to real-life scenarios? And how can we build models that are more robust in the real world? This blog article scrutinizes scientific machine learning models and outlines possible ways of increasing the accuracy of AI in practice.

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‚Industrial Security‘
Alexander Giehl

Digital twins and their potential for OT security

A digital twin is a virtual representation of a real system or device. It accompanies its physical counterpart during its entire life cycle. Tests, optimization procedures and bug hunting can be carried out on the twin first without involving the real device (that may not even exist at that moment). In this article, I want to give you some recommendations on how to harness that potential for improving upon the state of OT security (Operational Technology Security), e.g., within manufacturing or building automation.

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Nicolas Buchmann

Post-quantum cryptography in practice

The threat posed by quantum computers to the asymmetric cryptography in use today has been well known in the scientific community for more than 25 years, since Peter Shor published a polynomial algorithm for prime factorization to solve the discrete logarithm on a quantum computer. In recent years, crypto experts have increasingly been warning of the progress that is being made in quantum computing and its relevance for cryptography.

Research on post-quantum cryptography (PQC) at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security AISEC aims to enable businesses, government bodies and citizens to continue to have access to usable cryptography that will remain secure in the long term so they can keep their data secure. This blog article provides a brief overview of four ongoing projects.

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Secure Digital Identities
Marian Margraf

Digital identities — a statement by our expert Marian Margraf for the German Federal Parliament’s Committee on Digital Affairs

On July 4, 2022, the Committee on Digital Affairs held a public hearing on “Digital identities” at the German Federal Parliament (Bundestag). Our expert Marian Margraf, Head of Secure Systems Engineering at Fraunhofer AISEC and Professor at Freie Universität Berlin, was invited to the event. He addressed in particular the use of the self-sovereign identity (SSI) principle in current solutions, for example in mobile end devices. In addition to the challenges presented by the widespread use of digital identities, he also outlined possible solutions for electronic trust services that are both secure and socially accepted. This blog article is an abridged transcript of his statement.

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Fraunhofer AISEC

Innovating with security: Fraunhofer AISEC launches its cybersecurity blog

The cybersecurity blog goes live: Fraunhofer AISEC’s new blog is presenting exciting topics from the IT security research world in a new format: Expect fascinating content from the areas of trusted AI, trusted electronics, quantum computing and much more. The mega-trend of digitalization is becoming increasingly important to both the economy and society. Networked infrastructures and sensitive data need to be protected, while attacks by cybercriminals must be detected and prevented. More than 100 experts at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security AISEC are developing cybersecurity concepts and solutions that are necessary to achieve this. This blog will

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Trusted Artificial Intelligence
Karla Pizzi

Putting AI systems to the test with ‘Creation Attacks’

How secure is artificial intelligence (AI)? Does a machine perceive its environment in a different way to humans? Can an algorithm’s assessment be trusted? These are some of the questions we are exploring in the project “SuKI — Security for and with artificial intelligence”. The more AI is integrated into our everyday lives, the more important these questions become: When it comes to critical decisions — be it on the roads, in the financial sector or even in the medical sector — which are taken by autonomous systems, being able to trust AI is vital. As part of our ongoing SuKI project, we have now successfully deceived the state-of-the-art object recognition system YoloV3 [0].

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Rechtssicherheit Cybersecurity Blog Fraunhofer AISEC
'White Hat Hacking'
Marc Schink

Increased legal certainty for ‘white hat hackers’

Despite taking every precaution, IT-based systems and products are rarely completely free of security vulnerabilities. In order to detect and fix vulnerabilities and attack areas early on, software and hard-ware must endure rigorous security testing. However, cybersecurity researchers who report vulnerabili-ties responsibly and in the interest of common good (so-called “white hat hackers”) are currently at risk of criminal prosecution. The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security AISEC has responded by developing an internal procedure based on best-practice processes for dealing with vul-nerabilities discovered by its researchers. Fraunhofer AISEC has also collaborated with the Sec4Research interdisciplinary research team to produce a white paper suggesting ways to improve the legal situation of “white hat hackers” from within the research community.

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