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Analysis of lightweight cryptographic algorithms

Study level


Master of Philosophy


Vacation research experience scheme

Faculty/Lead unit

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Dr Harry Bartlett
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Dr Leonie Simpson
Senior Lecturer
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


Many devices connect and share information over the internet, for applications across health, transport, utilities and agriculture. For some applications, the transmitted information requires protection against disclosure or modification, or the source of the information must be verified. Cryptography is used to provide protection for transmitted data. The resource constraints of some small IoT devices may restrict the use of cryptography to algorithms which require fewer resources, known as lightweight cryptography. This project involves investigating the security of lightweight cryptographic algorithms against a range of cryptanalytic attacks.

Research activities

This project involves:

  • understanding the operation of, and implementing lightweight cryptographic algorithms,
  • understanding known forms of cryptographic attack and the vulnerabilities they exploit,
  • identifying vulnerabilities within lightweight cryptographic algorithms, or structures which offer resistance to certain forms of attack,
  • implementing and applying relevant attacks to the algorithms, or to modified versions of the algorithm.


Evaluating the security of certain lightweight cryptographic algorithms.

Skills and experience

  • Strong mathematical background (discrete maths and statistics are particularly helpful)
  • Understanding of and aptitude for cryptography
  • Ability to program (for simulations of the algorithm and the attacks)


You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.

Annual scholarship round



Contact the supervisor for more information.