Security and Privacy

Providing sensitive data privacy protection solutions is a crucial aspect in areas of high socio-economic impact. The highly innovative component and the wide applicability and transversality of technologies such as Signal Processing in Encrypted Domain (SPED), network anonymisation and “blurring” of GPS data goes beyond the limitations of the current technological solutions and provides a unique opportunity to achieve mandatory compliance of current and future legal regulations regarding data protection. The implementation of the solutions developed in this area will enhance the security and the confidence of the users on the systems to handle and process private data, without restricting the functionality offered by the companies/institutions, thus providing a crucial competitive advantage to the companies in the sector, as well as a new range of secure services that users can enjoy.

Another atlanTTic leading research field is quantum cryptography. Quantum cryptography provides total security for communications that cannot be breached even by an attacker who may have all the computing power of the Universe. In other words, these are systems that cannot be broken. In a world where sensitive or compromised information traffic is increasing through the internet, governments and institutions are aware that they must work to create secure communication networks using these protocols.

Lines of Research

Líñas de Investigación

Random Number Quantum Generator

Generation of random numbers through a quantum generator. This has several advantages for sectors with specific needs in this field, such as simulations or the online games sector.

Security analysis of QKD quantum cryptography systems

QKD is available with the current technology, and has already entered the market to provide efficient and easy-to-use systems that bring an unprecedented level of security. Current QKD devices use simple quantum mechanical light states, such as weak coherent pulses transmitted through optical fibers. Although traditional cryptographic methods remain secure enough for short-lived encryption, quantum cryptography can be valuable to provide unconditional security, not only now but also in the long run. Even QKD with a very low bitrate (e.g., hundreds of bits per second) can significantly improve the security of modern cryptosystems.

Forensic image and video analysis libraries

The software libraries developed are a unique toolbox in the market to develop customized solutions for the forensic analysis of images and video. Detecting alterations, determining the camera with which an image has been taken, or the temporary location of a video recorded indoors can be done with these tools.

Signal Processing in the Encrypted Domain Algorithm API

With the implemented SPED library externalized solutions can be developed (e.g., cloud) to process images, biomedical signals, genomic sequences or financial series, avoiding the need for specific hardware and ensuring that confidential information is protected and that security, privacy and European regulation requirements on data protection are met.

Tools to ensure privacy in location-based services

Both private users and companies must accept the terms of use of private location information, if they want to use the application. One of these terms is the storage of this information (usually in an unsafe manner), and so the forwarding is also done through potentially unsafe channels and without anonymizing. Work is being carried out to create tools in order to allow us to either anonymize or blur the location of the users, so that the service providers can guarantee their privacy.

"Mixes" tools as tools to ensure anonymity in high latency communications

There are several options to increase the anonymity of high-latency communications. However, each option on its own does not guarantee high standards of efficiency in the anonymization; therefore, different tools and methodologies need to be combined to obtain better results. Further to this, different existing mixes have been analyzed in order to determine their strengths and weaknesses. A direct result achieved is the issuing of a series of recommendations for the design of mixes.

Research Groups

Signal Processing in Communications Group (GPSC)
Antennas, Radar and Optical Communications Group (COM)

atlanTTic has 100 m2 dedicated to R&D in the area of Security & Privacy, and a number of labs that provide support to the research activity carried out by the team dedicated to this line of work.

Our research facilities are located at the School of Telecommunication Engineering (Vigo). The School also acts as a focal point for the transfer of technological knowledge between the academic environment and the industry.

  • Security (Communications)
  • Simulations
  • Online games
  • Sector TELCO
  • Energy sector
  • Health sector
  • Banking sector
  • Security forces
  • Public administration and justice
  • Defense
  • Financial services
  • Industry 4.0
  • Insurance
Title
Random Number Quantum Generator
Summary It is based on a system and a method for producing random numbers through a quantum random number generator. The procedure incorporates the steps of operating a single mode laser and high modulation bandwidth by an electric pulse generator, transforming previously generated random phase optical pulses into optical pulses with random amplitude and detecting the resulting random amplitude signals with a fast photodiode. The numbers thus generated are truly random.
Application and pros Securization of point-to-point communication channels
Application sectors Banking, military, online games
Intellectual property Granted patent
Title
Security analysis of QKD quantum cryptography systems
Summary Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) is a novel technique that exploits quantum effects to establish a secure secret key between two distant parties. This secret key is the essential element of the one-time-pad or Vernam cipher, the only known encryption method that can provide secure theoretical communications for the information. QKD is the first example of ideas in Quantum Information Theory that use fundamental laws of quantum physics to accomplish tasks which cannot be achieved by simple traditional means. It differs from traditional key distribution schemes, since in QKD the unconditional security of the final key can be proven.
Application sectors Ensure the confidentiality of communications regardless of the computational capacity of a potential attacker.
Application sectors Telecommunication operators, banking sector, military, protection of infrastructures of national interest, etc.
Intellectual property N/A
Title
Forensic image and video analysis libraries
Summary A number of forensic and video analysis libraries have been implemented.
Application and pros The software libraries developed constitute a unique toolbox in the market for the development of customized solutions in the forensic analysis of images and video.
Application sectors These tools will be very useful when developing solutions for legal forensics, insurance, press, protection of intellectual property.
Industrial secret N/A
Title
Signal Processing in the Encrypted Domain Algorithm API
Summary A Coded Domain Signal Processing (SPED) library has been developed for homomorphic processing of encrypted multidimensional images and signals that will serve as a basis for the development of cloud solutions that can process images, video, biomedical signals, etc. And to ensure that confidential information is protected.
Application and pros With the implemented SPED library externalized solutions can be developed (e.g., cloud) to process images, video, biomedical signals, etc., avoiding the need for specific hardware and ensuring that confidential information is protected. The developed technology provides a competitive advantage at the different stages of the value chain without having to use specific HW as it is the case of HSM.
Application sectors Health sector, security forces, defense, public administration and justice, financial services and industry 4.0.
Intellectual property Industrial secret.
Title
Tools to ensure privacy in location-based services
Summary Both private users and companies must accept the terms of use of private location information, if they want to use the application. One of these terms is the storage of this information (usually in an unsafe manner), and so the forwarding is done through potentially unsafe channels and without anonymizing. Work is being carried out to create tools in order to allow us to either anonymize or blur the location of users.
Application and pros There is no substitute product on the market. Both private users and companies must accept the conditions of use of private location information, if they want to use the application.
Application sectors Internet Service Providers, Application Developers, Empress Insurance.
Intellectual property N/A
Title
“Mixes” tools as tools to ensure anonymity in high latency communications
Summary There are several options to increase the anonymity of high-latency communications. However, each option on its own does not guarantee high standards of efficiency in anonymization; therefore, different tools and methodologies need to be combined to obtain better results. Further to this, different existing mixes have been analyzed in order to determine their strengths and weaknesses.
Application and pros A clear result achieved is a series of recommendations for the design of mixes that increase the level of anonymity in communications.
Application sectors Internet service providers, security and cryptography, industry, energy sector.
Intellectual property N/A