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), the speaker of the collaborative research center (Sonderforschungsbereich) on Methods and Tools for Understanding and Controlling Privacy, 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 director of the newly established CISPA-Stanford Center, jointly with Prof. John Mitchell.

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 ERC Synergy Grant imPACT, which aims 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.


See here for my current and past teaching activities.


2015 Teaching Award of the State of Saarland
2014Academy Membership, AcaTech - Deutsche Akademie der Technikwissenschaften
2014CS Teaching Award of Saarland University, awarded for the proseminar "Hacking"
2014IEEE Outstanding Community Service Award
2013ERC Synergy Grant, awarded for the imPACT project (Privacy, Accountability, Compliance and Trust in Tomorrow's Internet)
2011IEEE Outstanding Community Service Award
2009ERC Starting Grant, awarded for the End2EndSecurity project (Methods and Tools for End-to-end Security)
2009MIT TR35, awarded to the 35 most distinguished researchers/innovators under the age of 35
2009CS Teaching Award of Saarland University, awarded for the lecture "Practical Aspects of Security"
2008IBM Faculty Award
2007Fellow of the German Max Planck Society
2007CS Teaching Award of Saarland University, awarded for the lecture "Cryptography"
2005IBM Research Division Award, for contributions to Web Services Security
2004Microsoft Privacy Award for outstanding research in privacy enhancing technologies
2004IBM 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 moreover 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: Yasemin Acar, Fabian Bendun, Pascal Berrang, Erik Derr, Kathrin Grosse, Jie Huang, Mathias Humbert, Robert Kuennemann, Praveen Manoharan, Marten Oltrogge, Ivan Pryvalov, Tahleen Rahman, Jonas Schneider, Oliver Schranz, Milivoj Simeonovski, Malte Skoruppa, Ben Stock, Christian Stransky, and Philipp von Styp-Rekowsky.

Students I've graduated:
Sven Bugielnow: Research Group Leader at CISPA
Esfandiar Mohammadinow: PostDoc at ETH Zurich
Raphael Reischuknow: PostDoc at ETH Zurich
Sebastian Gerlingnow: Administrative Manager at CISPA
Matthias Bergnow: Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI)
Oana Ciobotarunow: PostDoc at University of Trier
Catalin Hritcunow: Researcher at INRIA Paris-Rocquencourt
Markus Dürmuthnow: Assistant Professor at Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Recent Professional Activities

I recently chaired the PC 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.