To content
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Resilient Worlds

Resilience meets secure networked control

Enhancing the security of cyberphysical systems with precisely designed encrypted control algorithms.

Networked control systems are central building blocks for many technologies and often form the backbone of critical infrastructure. Many applications further involve the processing of sensitive and confidential data such as business secrets or personal data. The young but emerging field of encrypted control addresses this issue by combining control schemes with cryptosystems in such a way that confidentiality is guaranteed during the entire control loop. However, while modern cryptography offers strong resilience against attacks on the confidentiality of data, existing realizations of encrypted control are either insufficiently performant for practical use or are based on an informal ad hoc approach that does not reflect the state of the art in modern cryptography and IT security research. Thus, the young technology with great practical relevance has now reached a stage where interdisciplinary collaboration between control engineers and cryptographers is necessary in order to being able to construct systems whose performance and security goes significantly beyond the state of the art. In this project, we will develop special-purpose cryptographic techniques that are tailored to the requirements of modern networked control systems, and we will accordingly adopt the corresponding control algorithms and make them as compatible as possible with the functionalities provided by modern cryptographic techniques. To this end, we will investigate several concrete ideas on the design of special-purpose approximate homomorphic encryption schemes with post quantum security, algorithmic modifications to various modern control algorithms involving machine learning and optimization, and their realizability with modern cryptographic secure computation techniques.

Related publications

M. Schulze Darup, A. B. Alexandru, G. J. Pappas, and D. Quevedo, Encrypted control for networked systems - An illustrative introduction and current challenges, IEEE Control Systems Magazin, 2021.