About ETRO  |  News  |  Events  |  Vacancies  |  Contact  
Home Research Education Industry Publications About ETRO

Master theses

Current and past ideas and concepts for Master Theses.

Rust-based cryptographic primitives


Second Promotor INDI: Prof. An Braeken
Privacy and security are ever so important, and they fall or stand with the performance and safety of cryptography and cryptographic implementations.
The Rust programming language has gotten a lot of traction and attention lately, and this especially true in the cryptographic communities.
This is because of its safety guarantees, and uncompromised performance.

However, many primitives and protocols are still lacking performant implementations, benchmarks, audits and comparisons.
Specifically, we are interested in implementations and optimizations for various platforms (GPU, embedded, mobile) for elliptic curves and hash functions, with potential impact in several real-world applications (several popular instant messengers).

Kind of work

Select and implement an existing cryptographic primitive and platform, evaluate its performance, and compare the performance against other state-of-the-art implementations.

Framework of the Thesis

With prof. Kris Steenhaut and prof. An Braeken (co-promotor of the thesis), our team is looking at network security.
Thibaut and Ruben are working at the lowest levels, on implementation and optimization of cryptographic primitives and protocols.
Primitives and protocol range from simple hash functions (especially Keccak/SHA3) to elliptic curves and complex zero-knowledge proof protocols.

Bertoni, G., Daemen, J., Peeters, M., & Van Assche, G. (2009). Keccak sponge function family main document. Submission to NIST (Round 2), 3, 30.
Dong, J., Zheng, F., Cheng, J., Lin, J., Pan, W., & Wang, Z. (2018). Towards High-performance X25519/448 Key Agreement in General Purpose GPUs. 2018 IEEE Conference on Communications and Network Security (CNS), 1–9.
Düll, M., Haase, B., Hinterwälder, G., Hutter, M., Paar, C., Sánchez, A. H., & Schwabe, P. (2015). High-speed Curve25519 on 8-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit microcontrollers. Designs, Codes and Cryptography, 77(2–3), 493–514.
Mahé, E. M., & Chauvet, J.-M. (2014). Fast GPGPU-Based Elliptic Curve Scalar Multiplication (No. 198).
Valence, H. de, & Lovecruft, I. (2016). curve25519-dalek: A pure-Rust implementation of group operations on Ristretto and Curve25519.

Number of Students


Expected Student Profile

Interest in cryptography, knowledge of Rust or eager to learn Rust on very short notice.
Knowledge of assembly, C, embedded programming is a plus.


Prof. Dr. Ir. Kris Steenhaut

+32 (0)2 629 2977

more info


Mr. Ruben De Smet

+32 (0)2 629 2976

more info

Mr. Thibaut Vandervelden

+32 (0)2 629 2930

more info

- Contact person




- Contact person

- Thesis proposals

- ETRO Courses

- Contact person

- Spin-offs

- Know How

- Journals

- Conferences

- Books

- Vacancies

- News

- Events

- Press


ETRO Department

Tel: +32 2 629 29 30

©2022 • Vrije Universiteit Brussel • ETRO Dept. • Pleinlaan 2 • 1050 Brussels • Tel: +32 2 629 2930 (secretariat) • Fax: +32 2 629 2883 • WebmasterDisclaimer