Pietrzak Group


Cryptography, the science of information security, is often relegated to the realm of spies and secret agents. However, we all rely on cryptography on a daily basis, for example when using internet banking or a wireless car key.

The cryptography group at IST Austria works on theoretical and practical aspects of cryptography, including:

Crypto for light-weight devices. The team works towards provably secure cryptographic schemes for light-weight devices such as RFID tags, which are too constrained to run existing cryptographic schemes.

Leakage-resilient cryptography. This project aims to construct schemes that are provably secure against “side-channel attacks”. These are attacks in which an attacker exploits information leaked during computation from a cryptographic device like a smart card.

Sustainable Cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin is the first successful digital currency. Its popularity comes from the fact that it is decentralized, so no central authority controls it. To achieve security despite decentralization, a huge amount of computing power is constantly wasted towards generating “proofs of work”. This is economically and ecologically problematic. The Pietrzak group works towards more sustainable cryptocurrencies.

Group Leader

On this site:


Current Projects

Leakage-resilient cryptography | Cryptosystems for light-weight devices | Computational entropy | Memory-hard functions | Cryptocurrencies


Kamath Hosdurg C. 2020. On the average-case hardness of total search problems, IST Austria, 126p. View

Auerbach B, Giacon F, Kiltz E. 2020. Everybody’s a target: Scalability in public-key encryption. Advances in Cryptology – EUROCRYPT 2020. EUROCRYPT: Theory and Applications of Cryptographic Techniques, LNCS, vol. 12107. 475–506. View

Skórski M. 2019. Strong chain rules for min-entropy under few bits spoiled. 2019 IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory. ISIT: International Symposium on Information Theory View

Walter M. 2019. Sampling the integers with low relative error. Progress in Cryptology – AFRICACRYPT 2019. International Conference on Cryptology in AfricaLNCS vol. 11627. 157–180. View

Choudhuri AR, Hubáček P, Kamath Hosdurg C, Pietrzak KZ, Rosen A, Rothblum GN. 2019. Finding a Nash equilibrium is no easier than breaking Fiat-Shamir. Proceedings of the 51st Annual ACM SIGACT Symposium on Theory of Computing  – STOC 2019. STOC: Symposium on Theory of Computing 1103–1114. View

View All Publications


since 2016 Professor, IST Austria
2011 – 2016 Assistant Professor, IST Austria
2005 – 2011 Scientific Staff Member, Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2006 Postdoc, École Normale Supérieure, Paris, France
2005 PhD, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Selected Distinctions

2015 ERC Consolidator Grant
2010 ERC Starting Grant

Additional Information

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Open Pietrzak group website

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