Hasso-Plattner-InstitutSDG am HPI
Hasso-Plattner-InstitutDSG am HPI

Identity Management for Secure Messaging (Wintersemester 2020/2021)

Dozent: Prof. Dr. Anja Lehmann (Cyber Security - Identity Management)

Allgemeine Information

  • Semesterwochenstunden: 2
  • ECTS: 3
  • Benotet: Ja
  • Einschreibefrist: 15.10.2020 -20.11.2020
  • Lehrform: Seminar
  • Belegungsart: Wahlpflichtmodul
  • Lehrsprache: Englisch
  • Maximale Teilnehmerzahl: 10

Studiengänge, Modulgruppen & Module

Cybersecurity MA
  • IDMG: Identity Management
    • HPI-IDMG-K Konzepte und Methoden
  • IDMG: Identity Management
    • HDI-IDMG-T Techniken und Werkzeuge
  • IDMG: Identity Management
    • HPI-IDMG-S Spezialisierung
  • CYAD: Cyber Attack and Defense
    • HPI-CYAD-K Konzepte und Methoden
  • CYAD: Cyber Attack and Defense
    • HPI-CYAD-T Techniken und Werkzeuge
  • CYAD: Cyber Attack and Defense
    • HPI-CYAD-S Spezialisierung
IT-Systems Engineering MA
Data Engineering MA
Digital Health MA


This seminar is given by Dr. Franziskus Kiefer (Wire).

Messaging services such as WhatsApp are prevalent and commonly used in all parts of life. Many large messaging services offer end-to-end encryption where only the client devices can decrypt messages. End-to-end encryption however is only safe when all participants can verify the authenticity of the other parties. Otherwise it is easy for an attacker (think service provider or nation state) to inject devices in a conversation that are able to decrypt the message content.

While the encryption is a largely solved problem, authentication is not. In this seminar we want to learn about the challenges and possible solutions to this problem. We will look at how to define digital identities and how to authenticate other identities in the context of secure messaging, as well as how to handle multiple devices belonging to one identity.

Each of the three topics (identities, authentication, multi-device identities) will be investigated in small groups, looking at real world examples and research. The findings are collected in a report (roughly 30 pages) and presented at the end of the semester.

Timeline & Work mode:

  • kick-off lecture on secure messaging, introducing the problem statements, building groups (online)
  • bi-weekly Q&A sessions and a group chat to discuss issues in between (online)
  • mid-term presentations (half way through the semester to present progress and get feedback)
  • presentation (20 minutes + 10 minutes Q&A) at the end of the semester

The course is limited to max. 10 participants. Priority is given to Cybersecurity students.

To register for this seminar, please send an email to office-lehmann(at)hpi.de with subject "Einschreibung - IdM Seminar" and stating your name and master programme. You will receive the access details for the virtual seminar at the end of October.


The grade will be based on a presentation of the coursework project results at the end of the semester (30%) and the accompanying report (70%).