Security Analysts Mike Ooms and Amber Cok joined Riscure in 2023 for a joint internship assignment, focusing on the cutting-edge post-quantum signature algorithm Dilithium. Read on to learn more about what they’ve researched and what it’s like working at Riscure.
Which study did you follow?
We followed the master’s program in Security and Network Engineering at the University of Amsterdam. This master’s requires two research projects, each 4 weeks long. The second project is the master’s thesis. We did our thesis project at Riscure.
What is/was the topic of your research?
Our research was about performing side channel analysis on Dilithium – a post-quantum signature algorithm. We specifically investigated possible key leakage in the signing algorithm. To do this, we used an implementation optimized for a Cortex-M3 core and programmed it on an Arduino Due.
How did Riscure support you in carrying out the research?
Riscure supported us from the beginning, assisting in defining the project’s needs and objectives, and providing continuous support during the research. We received support throughout the entire project, with our supervisor being helpful and always available to assist. They checked in on our progress and provided guidance where needed. This support was important to our learning, especially considering our time limits and lack of practical experience in side channel analysis before starting the project. Additionally, Riscure supplied the necessary hardware, and if there were any items we missed, they promptly placed orders to ensure we had them the next day.
What is your impression of the Riscure team and culture?
Riscure has a welcoming team and culture. Our colleagues were highly interested in what we were working on, often asked about our progress, offering to help. The team’s hospitality made us feel at home. We had great conversations during lunch and enjoyed the walks in the fresh air during the lunch break.
In case we needed help with our project, our colleagues, even the ones not supervising our project, made time to help us. We couldn’t have done it without them!
What do you like the most about working at Riscure?
We particularly value the relevance of the work we do such as, in our case, post-quantum cryptography. Additionally, hardware security introduces an entirely different perspective to cybersecurity, with a physical aspect that resonates with us. Finally, the amazing colleagues complete the experience.
What made you choose Riscure for your internship assignment?
After a guest lecture by Riscure during our university studies, we became really interested in the work that Riscure does and inquired about research project opportunities. A week later, we were defining our project in a meeting with the Riscure team.
What is the most memorable thing about working at Riscure?
Given the limited time of our project, we had to learn a lot in a short time. Because we did not have any practical experience with side channel analysis, it was really fun to get new pieces of hardware and play around with it. As we received and implemented new pieces of hardware, we could really see the project coming together.
Who should consider doing an internship at Riscure?
Anyone with an interest in cybersecurity, especially in hardware security and cryptography, should consider Riscure. A project at Riscure may not be the easiest, requiring motivation, but is seriously rewarding in what you can learn and achieve.
What inspires you in your work?
The constant learning opportunities at Riscure inspire us. We value the company’s dedication to researching and improving present-day hardware security techniques. Even our one-month research helped the company with a little step in their development in PQC attacks.
Looking for an internship in the device security domain? At Riscure, we’re always on the lookout for new interns! Read more and apply here.