CASA – Cyber Security

in the Age of Large-Scale Adversaries

Cluster of Excellence CASA

The center for pioneering IT security research at Ruhr University Bochum. CASA pursues the clear goal of ensuring that the digital world is sustainably more secure. Together, our researchers develop effective solutions against powerful cyber attackers. In doing so, demonstrating international excellence, interdisciplinary research, and innovative approaches.
ERC Grants


Insights into our Cluster of Excellence CASA: Current research results, pioneering IT security research projects, upcoming events and portraits of our researchers.

CASA in the Media

Current media coverage of our Cluster of Excellence CASA in the press, newspapers, journals, magazines and podcasts.

Publications & Awards

Overview of the publications of our Cluster of Excellence and a selection of awards from our CASA researchers.


Lectures, conferences, summer schools and workshops offer researchers and the interested public the opportunity to actively participate in our research. Our events serve as platforms for exchange and continuous professional development.

Summer School on Cryptography

August 26 to 30, 2024

CASA Retreat

September 23 to 25, 2024

Review of Past Events

Since 2019, our Cluster of Excellence CASA has successfully organized and hosted numerous events and sponsored both national and international conferences and events.

Women in Security and Cryptography Workshop (WISC)

June 27 to 29, 2023

CASA Summer School 2023

August 14 to 16, 2023

CASA: Organization and Structure

The core principles of our cluster include the active involvement of our researchers, the participation of renowned scientists from relevant research areas and intensive collaboration with external partners.



CASA relies on transparent decision-making processes and the participation of CASA researchers and internationally renowned scientists in committees.



CASA benefits from an extensive network of national and international partners from research institutions, companies and start-ups.


Participating Institutions

In addition to Ruhr University Bochum as the main location, other universities and research institutes are also involved in the cluster.



CASA brings together outstanding researchers from various disciplines, including computer science, electrical engineering, mathematics and psychology.

Research Hubs

The Cluster of Excellence CASA combines four main areas of research:


Research Hub A:
Future Cryptography

Cryptography Against Mass Surveillance, Quantum-Resistant Cryptography, Foundations of Privacy


Research Hub B:
Embedded Security

Platform Trojans, Physical-Layer Security, Next-Generation Implementation Security


Research Hub C:
Secure Systems

Building Secure Systems, Security With Untrusted Components, Intelligent Security Systems


Research Hub D:

Improving the usability of security and privacy mechanisms for developers and end users

Career at CASA

We are constantly looking for national and international talents in the field of IT security with expertise in computer science, electrical engineering, mathematics, psychology (ideally with a technical focus) or related disciplines. Become part of our team!

CASA Highlights

  • First planning meeting with RUB 
  • Draft proposal for "CASA" submitted
  • Full proposal CASA is submitted 
  • Start of the Cluster of Excellence
  • CASA regulation adopted
  • Start of 6 CASA Fundamental Research Projects
  • Best Paper Award: Yarom et al., Time Protection: the Missing OS Abstraction, EuroSy
  • Start of the regularly held CASA Distinguished Lectures
  • Christof Paar becomes new member of the Leopoldina
  • Best Paper Award: NSA Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper Award & Distinguished Paper Award: Yarom et al., Spectre Attacks: Exploiting Speculative Execution, IEEE S&P
  • First 3-day CASA Retreat
  • Intel's "Outstanding Researcher Award" for Thorsten Holz
  • Numerous CASA members in the final of the NIST standardization process for post-quantum cryptography
  • First Mid-Term Reviews of CASA Research Projects
  • CASA Online-Retreat for PhDs and Postdocs
  • CASA Early Career Researchers at Full Strength: Target of 40 Phds and Postdocs Reached
  • CASA Summer School 2023 on Software Security
  • Distinguished Paper Award & 2nd Place of the Internet Defense Prize: Holz et al, "Fuzztruction: Using Fault Injection-based Fuzzing to Leverage Implicit Domain Knowledge", USENIX Security
  • Distinguished Artifact Award: Schwenk et al., “We Really Need to Talk About Session Tickets: A Large-Scale Analysis of Cryptographic Dangers with TLS Session Tickets”, USENIX Security
  • Poster Award: Marky et al., “...It's very unacceptable for someone to peek into your privacy.' Chronicles of Shoulder Surfing: Exploring Deep into a Longitudinal Diary Study.", SOUPS - Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security
  • Konrad Rieck receives Test of Time Award at IEEE S&P
Early 2016
July 2016
April 2017
September 2017
February 2018
September 2018
January 2019
January 2019
March 2019
End of March 2019
May 2019
September 2019
October 2019
November 2019
January 2020
June 2020
July 2020
August 2020
October 2020
November 2020
March 2021
June 2021
August 2021
September 2021
October 2021
November 2021
January 2022
March 2022
April 2022
June 2022
July 2022
August 2022
September 2022
November 2022
January 2023
March 2023
April 2023
May 2023
June 2023
July 2023
August 2023
September 2023
November 2023
December 2023
February 2024
March 2024
May 2024
June 2024
  • First idea for an EXC application by the Horst Görtz Institute for IT Security
  • DFG publishes call for proposals for Clusters of Excellence within the Excellence Strategy
  • CASA is invited to submit full proposal 
  • Funding decision: CASA becomes Cluster of Excellence
  • CASA Initial Research Projects begin
  • First place in CSAW competition for Jörg Schwenk
  • Test of Time Award: Cha et al., "Measuring User Influence in Twitter: The Million Follower Fallacy", International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media
  • Admission of Angela Sasse to the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts
  • The paper "Faster Addition and Doubling on Elliptic Curves" by the CASA PIs Daniel J. Bernstein and Tanja Lange is awarded the IACR Test-of-Time Award 2022
  • Amir Moradi contributed 8 papers to CHES.
  • Distinguished Paper Awards for Konrad Rieck and Thorsten Holz (USENIX) and Alena Naiakshina (SOUPS).
  • 2nd Place des Intel Hardware Security Academic Award Program: Holz et al., “Nyx: Greybox Hypervisor Fuzzing using Fast Snapshots and Affine Types”
  • Test of Time Award: Cha et al., "I Tube, You Tube, Everybody Tubes: Analyzing the World's Largest User Generated Content Video System", ACM SIGCOMM
  • Publication of our CASA comic book about the research of Research Hub B
  • Best Paper Award: Sasse et al., “As Usual, I Needed Assistance of a Seeing Person: Experiences and Challenges of People with Disabilities and Authentication Methods”, STAST - International Workshop on Socio-Technical Aspects in Security