German IT Security Prize Goes to Karlsruhe
”Blurry Box®“: Method Protects Software against Attackers
A mechanism that protects software against attackers even when the latter know this security mechanism: With the jointly developed innovative Blurry Box® security method (Blurry Box® is a registered trademark of Wibu-Systems AG), the Research Center for Information Technology (FZI), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), and Wibu-Systems AG won the first place in the 5th German IT Security Contest of the Horst Görtz Foundation. The prize money totals EUR 100,000.
“The Blurry Box method is based on Kerckhoffs’s principle. It is not the security method that is kept secret, but the exchangeable key. In this way, protection against unauthorized copying, manipulation, industrial espionage, and sabotage is enhanced”, Professor Jörn Müller-Quade, Holder of the Chair for Cryptography and Security of KIT and Director of the FZI, explains. The method can already be applied reliably and, at the same time, discussed publicly and developed further.
The German IT Security Prize is among the highest valued privately donated science awards in Germany. Main criteria for the evaluation of concepts and solutions by the jury of top-class IT security experts from science and industry are innovativeness, real market potential, and usability. During the award ceremony at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, the project coordinators Professor Jörn Müller-Quade and Oliver Winzenried, CEO of Wibu-Systems AG, together with their team, were handed over the certificate for the first prize of the IT Security Contest and the prize money in the amount of EUR 100,000.
In the area of IT security in research, education, and science and with its numerous IT companies, the Karlsruhe Technology Region is rather strong. Here, scientists in cooperation with regional enterprises work on IT security solutions and concepts. KASTEL at KIT is one of three national Competence Centers for Cyber Security funded by the federal government. Here, eleven chairs of KIT cooperate with the Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies, and Image Exploitation, the FZI, and partners in the research and education sectors for the close-to-application development of security solutions.
In october, the Research Center for Information Technology (FZI), an independent institution for technology transfer, was granted funding under the Baden-Württemberg Forward-IT initiative. It will now be established as a central contact point for small and medium-size enterprises having security-related problems. For their clients, the FZI scientists develop cryptography and verification methods as well as safety protocols and threat analyses. Research concentrates on IT security management and application security. “Our research and transfer activities are characterized by an interdisciplinary approach to security: The cooperation of lawyers, IT security experts, cryptographers, and software engineers allows for the analysis of security of highly complex systems. This will be of increasing importance in the future, as more and more devices will be increasingly equipped with information technologies and the networks will become increasingly complex. We focus on this networking of devices and living environments and develop reliable and reproducible security guarantees,” KASTEL Manager and FZI Director Müller-Quade emphasizes.
In cooperation with a strong network of leading enterprises in the Karlsruhe Technology Region, such as Wibu-Systems AG, IT security competence is planned to be extended. The prize money granted by the Horst Görtz Foundation will be of great help. The founder of the Horst Görtz Foundation, Dr. Horst Görtz, has been actively involved in the development of IT security in Germany for many years. With the German IT Security Prize, his Foundation wishes to contribute to strengthening and promoting IT security “made in Germany”.