Michael Backes

Michael Backes

Professor, Chair of Information Security & Cryptography

Postal address: Saarland University
Computer Science Department
Prof. Dr. Michael Backes
PO Box 151150
66041 Saarbrücken, Germany
Phone: +49 (0)681 - 302 - 3249
Email: backes (at) cs (dot) uni-saarland (dot) de

Short Vita

Michael Backes is a full professor at the Computer Science Department of Saarland University and a Max Planck Fellow of the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems. He has the chair for Information Security and Cryptography.

He is the Director of the Center for IT-Security, Privacy, and Accountability (CISPA), and a Principal Investigator and Vice-coordinator of the Cluster of Excellence on Multimodal Computing and Interaction (MMCI). See here for a longer CV.

NEW: He is the speaker of the newly established collaborative research center (Sonderforschungsbereich) on Methods and Tools for Understanding and Controlling Privacy.

Research Interests

Information security and privacy, especially foundations of computer security & privacy; design, analysis and verification for security-critical systems and services; and methods and tools for assessing and enhancing privacy in the Internet.

My major current research focus is on the recently awarded ERC Synergy Grant imPACT, which aim at providing foundations for privacy, accountability, compliance and trust in the Internet of the Future.


My technical papers and publications are available online. Presumably the most up-to-date list over time will be at DBLP though.


I am teaching Foundations of Cybersecurity in Fall 2015. See for my past teaching activities.


2015 Teaching Award of the State of Saarland
2014 Academy Membership, AcaTech - Deutsche Akademie der Technikwissenschaften
2014 CS Teaching Award of Saarland University, awarded for the proseminar "Hacking"
2014 IEEE Outstanding Community Service Award
2013 ERC Synergy Grant, awarded for the imPACT project (Privacy, Accountability, Compliance and Trust in Tomorrow's Internet)
2011 IEEE Outstanding Community Service Award
2009 ERC Starting Grant, awarded for the End2EndSecurity project (Methods and Tools for End-to-end Security)
2009 MIT TR35, awarded to the 35 most distinguished researchers/innovators under the age of 35
2009 CS Teaching Award of Saarland University, awarded for the lecture "Practical Aspects of Security"
2008 IBM Faculty Award
2007 Fellow of the German Max Planck Society
2007 CS Teaching Award of Saarland University, awarded for the lecture "Cryptography"
2005 IBM Research Division Award, for contributions to Web Services Security
2004 Microsoft Privacy Award for outstanding research in privacy enhancing technologies
2004 IBM Outstanding Achievement Award, for contributions to Enterprise Privacy Architectures

For what it's worth: I have been featured as the leading German researcher under the age of 40 by the German edition of the Financial Times in 2010, and repeatedly ranked amongst the 30 most important IT people in Germany since 2010 by the Computerwoche newspaper. I was recently named one if Germany's "Digital Minds" by the German Computer Science Foundation and by Germany's minister of research and education.


I'm lucky to have the chance to work with a group of outstanding graduate students, postdocs, and senior researchers: Fabian Bendun, Pascal Berrang, Erik Derr, Praveen Manoharan, Ninja Marnau, Sebastian Meiser, Stefan Nuernberger, Ivan Pryvalov, Oliver Schranz, Malte Skoruppa, Milivoj Simeonovski, and Philipp von Styp-Rekowsky.

Students I've graduated:
Sven Bugiel now: Research Group Leader at CISPA
Esfandiar Mohammadi now: PostDoc at ETH Zurich
Raphael Reischuk now: PostDoc at ETH Zurich
Sebastian Gerling now: Administrative Manager at CISPA
Matthias Berg now: Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI)
Markus Dürmuth now: Assistant Professor at Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Oana Ciobotaru now: PostDoc at University of Trier
Catalin Hritcu now: Researcher at INRIA Paris-Rocquencourt

Recent Professional Activities

I am chair of the IEEE European Symposium on Security & Privacy 2016 (Submission Deadline is Aug 6, 2015). I moreover serve as on the Steering Committees of IEEE S & P, IEEE EuroS & P, IEEE CSF and ESORICS.