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Cybersecurity researcher wins IT Security Award 2021

Dr. Haya Shulmann's market-ready solution improves global Internet security by protecting DNS infrastructures. For this, she was currently awarded 1st place in the 8th German IT Security Award and EUR 100,000 in prize money. With her development "Cache Test", providers and operators can automatically test the security of their DNS products and infrastructures against so-called cache poisoning attacks. These can result in Internet users being redirected to fake websites and thus tricked into revealing personal data and passwords. In this way, the fake websites also serve primarily as a basis for more far-reaching attacks. Any company that has already been confronted with this problem will be pleased with the new development. Dr. Shulman works at the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology SIT and the National Research Center for Applied Cyber Security ATHENE in Darmstadt, Germany, and is considered one of the leading scientists in the field of cyber security.

Second place, endowed with 60,000 euros, went to "ContactGuard", which will enable secure matching of address books in the future by means of a protection mechanism and cryptographic protocols. In this way, data protection and privacy are guaranteed and the complete data is not transferred to messenger/service providers, as has often been the case in the past. This security solution was developed by a 5-person team: Christian Weinert and Thomas Schneider, TU Darmstadt, Matthias Senker, new frontiers Software, and Daniel Kales and Christian Rechberger, TU Graz.

Third place goes to a rather originally named security solution: TeeRex. Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs) are hardware-secured units on main processors of all common computers and smartphones that offer protection even if the software has already been compromised. The prerequisite for this to work is that the TEEs do not themselves have vulnerabilities in their programming. This is where TeeRex comes in as a testing tool that uncovers just such vulnerabilities. TeeRex has already successfully completed its field test and uncovered several security vulnerabilities in fingerprint sensor software used on Dell, Lenovo and HP laptops. Tobias Cloosters, Michael Rodler and Lucas Davi from the University of Duisburg-Essen are the developers.

The German IT Security Award was first presented 8 years ago by the Horst Görtz Foundation. The aim is to promote the position of IT security "made in Germany" and thus contribute to strengthening innovation in Germany. The foundation places a special focus on information security and supports, among other things, through endowed professorships or doctoral student funding. Since we at REISSWOLF have been upholding data protection & data security for decades and IT security is increasingly becoming the decisive pillar in this, we are pleased about the sustained commitment to outstanding German security solutions.


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