Improving mobile communication security - Summer in the Labs

As quantum computers are being developed, the research regarding post quantum cryptography is being intensified. In this post you can read about Iggy and how he, with the use of his studies in mathematics, got to take a closer look at cryptography improvements.

Lund city

Students from many different fields join Ericsson Research for internships or thesis work. You could be next. Follow our blog to learn about the students at Ericsson Research this summer.

Hi Iggy! Can you tell us about your educational background and why you chose to do your internship at Ericsson?

For the past five years, I have studied mathematics at Eindhoven University in the Netherlands but wanted to finally see what it is like in the real world. I came to Ericsson to see how I could apply my studies to real-life situations. Ericsson is developing the latest mobile networking technologies and with my cryptography background I can apply my theoretical knowledge to something that will hopefully be one day used by consumers.

At the technical university in Eindhoven, I am working on my master’s degree in industrial and applied mathematics. Previously, I studied for a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics. The program has provided me with fundamental knowledge in mathematics while at the same time preparing me for work in the real world with a lot of opportunities to work with other universities. Although we have had courses where we worked on industry problems, I have not yet had the opportunity to directly apply the knowledge gained in my security and number theory courses.

Name: Iggy Van Hoof
Unit: Security
Education: Industrial and applied mathematics
Location: Lund, Sweden

Iggy Van Hoof


What has your task been during your internship?

As an intern researcher at the security research group in Lund, I have been tasked with finding a solution to a specific problem involving cryptography. I am looking at a protocol that sets up mobile communication security and improving it in order to provide post-quantum security and perfect forward secrecy. As quantum computers come nearer, more research is being done into post-quantum security everywhere – a protocol based on a special type of elliptic curve algebra (super-singular isogeny curves) has been gaining traction as a fast protocol with small messages. However, the time needed for doing the computation is still considerable, especially for smaller Internet-of-Things-type devices. I am exploring how to leverage the knowledge the participants already share to reduce the time it takes to do these calculations.

What has your experience from being at Ericsson?
Working at Ericsson has been a great experience. The work environment is relaxed but encourages productivity and my colleagues have been incredibly encouraging. I have learned a lot about what is asked of researchers at Ericsson and I have been spending my mornings reading papers or researching technical standards and taking notes. In the afternoons, I work on my report and do most of the thinking.

Lastly, how has your stay in Lund been?
Working and living in Sweden has gone well and despite not knowing any Swedish I have still had opportunities to meet new people on and off work. The scenery around where I live is beautiful and I look forward to go for a run there sometime soon. I have also planned to visit Malmö since Lund is pretty empty due to all the students have left for the summer.


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