Institute Mission

The Max Planck Institute for Cyber Security and Privacy was founded in May 2019. The institute’s mission is to study and develop the technical foundations and interdisciplinary aspects of cybersecurity and privacy. The institute seeks impact through publications, artifacts, and personnel, and serves as a center of excellence for basic research and for the training of the next generation of scientific leaders in cybersecurity and privacy.

More specifically, the vision of the institute is to:

  • pursue cutting-edge research in all aspects related to security and privacy. It aims to cover both theoretical and empirical research in technical aspects of security and privacy as well as interdisciplinary research in areas such as social science, economics, and law;
  • attract some of the best talent internationally and provide them with excellent resources and an environment that encourages collaboration and out-of-box thinking. The institute offers attractive tenure-track and tenured faculty positions;
  • train young scientists who combine excellence in their chosen specialty with a broad perspective on security and privacy and the ability to communicate their results effectively to a wide audience. The institute offers attractive postdoctoral and doctoral positions, and internships.

The institute is located in Bochum, in the the Ruhr Area. The area is Germany’s largest academic hub, and an epicenter of innovation in the security and privacy landscape.


Gilles Barthe

Founding Director

Gilles Barthe received a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Manchester, UK, in 1993, and a Habilitation à diriger les recherches in Computer Science from the University of Nice, France, in 2004.

He has served as the scientific coordinator of the European FP6 FET integrated project "MOBIUS: Mobility, Ubiquity and Security" for enabling proof-carrying code for Java on mobile devices (2005-2009), and as the Principal Investigator of many national projects.

He has served as PC (co-)chair of several conferences including VMCAI, and ESOP and been a PC member of numerous conferences, including CCS, CRYPTO, CSF, EUROCRYPT, ESORICS, FM, ICALP, LICS, POPL, and S&P. He is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Automated Reasoning, of the Journal of Computer Security, and of Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing.

His research interests include programming languages and program verification, software and system security, cryptography, formal methods and foundations of mathematics and computer science. His current research focuses on building foundations and tools for verifying cryptographic constructions and differentially private computations. He was awarded Best/Distinguished Paper Awards at CRYPTO 2011, PPoPP 2013, FSE 2016, and CSF 2018. He was an invited speaker at numerous venues, including EUROCRYPT'17, CAV'16, IJCAR'16, AsiaCrypt'15, CSF'14, ETAPS'13, QEST'13, ESORICS'12, ITP'12, and SAS'12.

Christof Paar

Founding Director

Christof Paar is a scientific director at the Max Planck Institute for Cyber Security and Privacy, Bochum, Germany, and affiliated professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research lies in the area of embedded security. His group is currently working on hardware Trojans, technical and cognitive aspects of (hardware) reverse engineering, physical layer security and the security of cyber-physical systems. He is one of the spokespersons of the Excellence Cluster CASA - Cyber Security in the Age of Large-Scale Adversaries.

Prior to joining the MPI, Christof was with the Ruhr University Bochum (2001-2019) and WPI in Massachusetts (1995-2001). He spent the academic years 2008/09 and 2014 - 2016 as a research professor at UMass Amherst. He received a Ph.D. in engineering from the Institute for Experimental Mathematics at the University of Essen in 1994.

Cătălin Hrițcu


Cătălin Hrițcu will join the new Max Planck Institute for Cyber Security and Privacy (MPI-SP) as a tenured faculty member on 1 May 2020. He is particularly interested in security foundations (secure compilation, compartmentalization, memory safety, security protocols, information flow), programming languages (program verification, proof assistants, dependent types, formal semantics, mechanized metatheory, property-based testing), and the design and verification of secure systems (reference monitors, secure compilation chains, tagged architectures). He was awarded an ERC Starting Grant on formally secure compilation and is also actively involved in the design of the F* verification system.