© 2023 EPFL

© 2023 EPFL

To promote research and education in cyber-defence, EPFL and the Cyber-Defence (CYD) Campus launched in 2020 the rolling call for Master Thesis Fellowships – A Talent Program for Cyber-Defence Research.

This month we are introducing you Ian Boschung, the recipient of the eighth CYD Master Thesis Fellowship. Ian is in the second year of his Master studies in the Department of Computer Science, at the System Security Group, ETHZ.

How did you find out about the CYD Fellowships and what motivated you to apply?

A friend of mine did her master thesis as a CYD fellow and told me about it and it seemed a good way to get to know people working or studying in the area.

What is your CYD Fellowship project about?

The new Armv9 architecture specification introduced new security features in hardware. I am exploring how those can be used and try to develop prototype software that demonstrates one usecase of the new features.

What are the advantages of conducting your master thesis/doctoral/postdoctoral project at the CYD Campus?

I have a quiet working place in the middle of Zürich where I can focus on writing my thesis and I get to know other people doing research in Cybersecurity.

Did you as a child dream of working in cyber-defence?

No, not at all. As a child I always wanted to become the person who invents Lego models. I mostly got interested in cyber security during my bachelor studies.

What is driving you to pursue research in cyber-defence?

I like to solve hard problems and very much enjoy the moment when something finally works out. What I also like about cyber security is the low-level nature of the work. Knowing how things work under the hood is a lot more fascinating than only using high-level libraries.

What is the most important lesson you have learned in your scientific career so far?

Even when stuck on a problem for a long time and when I think I don’t know anything else to try, by taking a step back and systematically analysing all possibilities, something that I missed will come up.

What are you most proud of in your career to date?

Participating in some international coding competitions.

Outside the lab, what do you enjoy doing most?

It is hard to name one single thing I enjoy most. I really like a chill evening with friends, cooking nice dinner and playing some board games, but I also enjoy going rock climbing in the mountains.

What are your expectations about the CYD Fellowship?

Get to know a lot of people who have similar interests than me.

Could you share some tips with future applicants who are considering applying for the CYD Fellowships?

The application takes some time, so just start early enough and also take the time to do it right, don’t rush it.