PhD Position F/M IoT based decentralized identity checking

March 31, 2023
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2023-05784 - PhD Position F/M IoT based decentralized identity checking

Contract type : Fixed-term contract

Level of qualifications required : Graduate degree or equivalent

Fonction : PhD Position

About the research centre or Inria department

The Inria University of Lille centre, created in 2008, employs 360 people including 305 scientists in 15 research teams. Recognised for its strong involvement in the socio-economic development of the Hauts-De-France region, the Inria University of Lille centre pursues a close relationship with large companies and SMEs. By promoting synergies between researchers and industrialists, Inria participates in the transfer of skills and expertise in digital technologies and provides access to the best European and international research for the benefit of innovation and companies, particularly in the region. For more than 10 years, the Inria University of Lille centre has been located at the heart of Lille's university and scientific ecosystem, as well as at the heart of Frenchtech, with a technology showroom based on Avenue de Bretagne in Lille, on the EuraTechnologies site of economic excellence dedicated to information and communication technologies (ICT).


This position falls in the context of a joint project between the Lille Catholic University, the Inria Lille - Nord Europe Research Centre and the IN Groupe company.

Founded in 1875, and unique in France, the Lille Catholic University is a multidisciplinary institution which combines 5 faculties, 20 schools, institutes, and Grandes Ecoles, and a hospital group. It represents more than 700 teacher-researchers, 220 PhDs, 15 research chairs and more than 15 units and research institute. Driven by creativity and innovation, and in close collaboration with its students and its partners, the Lille Catholic University is contributing to the construction of the world of tomorrow through the transformation of society. The Smart and Sustainable Cities research team from the FGES and his Ecole Du Numérique will host the thesis.

The Inria Lille - Nord Europe Research Centre was founded in 2008 and employs a staff of 360, including 300 scientists working in fifteen research teams. Recognised for its outstanding contribution to the socio-economic development of the Hauts-De-France région, the Inria Lille - Nord Europe Research Centre undertakes research in the field of computer science in collaboration with a range of academic, institutional and industrial partners. The FUN research group investigates solutions to enhance programmability, adaptability and reachability of Future Ubiquitous Networks composed of RFID, wireless sensor and robot networks.

IN Groupe has been a partner of the French State for nearly 500 years and offers state-of-the-art identity solutions and secure digital services, integrating electronics, optics and biometrics. From components to services, including documents and interoperable systems, as a global specialist in identity and secure digital services, IN Groupe is always on hand to make life easier for everyone. Whether assisting nations in exercising their sovereignty, or protecting the identity of citizens, or preserving companies' confidentiality, IN Groupe, as an organization with digital sovereignty, helps to ensure that everyone has a fundamental right: the Right to Be You. IN Groupe is the new company name of “Groupe Imprimerie Nationale”.


The question of proof of identity, or even authentication, in an untrusted context has always been a technical challenge. Numerous solutions exist which often consist in defining a so-called "secure" space for accredited users, whose access is controlled.

The verification of identity and its associated attributes is then mainly left to a centralized system (a.k.a. Active Directory, Kerberos...) which, due to its nature, is a privileged target for attacks. It represents a weak point in the infrastructure, if only in the event of a breakdown.

Therefore, we propose to study the possibility of identifying people in a reliable and distributed way in a defined physical space (e.g.: campus) but open.

To do this, we will use radio communication technologies that will also allow a "continuous" verification of people's accreditations and position.

Initially, we propose to use physical "anchors" distributed in the physical space. These anchors will collaborate with each other and with a physical identity proof carried by the participants to guarantee that they are authorized. This solution will be implemented in a theoretical and practical way for real-world testing and improvements.

Then we will study the possibility of moving to a fully distributed system (i.e. without anchors) which, based on cross-validation mechanisms of the identity, and on the study of the geographical movements of the user and their usual neighbors, will guarantee the identity.

Proposed approaches will be experimented on the Wenov campus which will be used as a real-life demonstrator.

Main activities

Time schedule

M1-M6: The PhD student will conduct a contextualized state of the art of the issue of people authentication and authorizations in a secure place. He will produce a study on the cost/performance ratio (i.e. expected security level) of the different solutions considered.

M7-M12: Based on the previous study, the PhD student will study the theoretical feasibility of a wireless and distributed authentication system for people in a secure location.

At the end of the first year, the student will be familiar with the subject. He/She will have designed a first solution for reliable distributed identity check.

M13-M24: Implementation and experimentation of the wireless distributed authentication system with study of different potential attack scenarios. Improvement of the system based on experimental and practical feedback.

At the end of the second year, the student will have designed and validated a strong solution.

M25-M32: Cross-validation of identities and authorizations of different participants on campus based on travel patterns and usual population flows as a complementary authentication assurance mechanism.

M32-M36: Hardware implementation and experimentation

  • Knowledge in wireless networks and blockchain principles
  • Skills in Simulation tools and development
  • Skills in C and python
  • English speaking
  • Autonomy
  • Open minded
  • Team working
  • Capacity to write English reports and papers
  • Sense of organization, autonomy, rigor
  • Benefits package
  • Subsidized meals
  • Partial reimbursement of public transport costs
  • Leave: 7 weeks of annual leave + 10 extra days off due to RTT (statutory reduction in working hours) + possibility of exceptional leave (sick children, moving home, etc.)
  • Possibility of teleworking and flexible organization of working hours
  • Professional equipment available (videoconferencing, loan of computer equipment, etc.)
  • Social, cultural and sports events and activities
  • Access to vocational training
  • Social security coverage
  • Remuneration

    Gross monthly salary :

  • 2 051€ the first and second years

  • 2 158€ the third year

  • General Information
  • Theme/Domain : Networks and Telecommunications System & Networks (BAP E)

  • Town/city : Villeneuve d'Ascq

  • Inria Center : Centre Inria de l'Université de Lille
  • Starting date : 2023-06-01
  • Duration of contract : 3 years
  • Deadline to apply : 2023-03-31
  • Contacts
  • Inria Team : FUN
  • PhD Supervisor : Mitton Nathalie / [email protected]
  • The keys to success

    We are looking for candidate that owns a Master's in computer science who is creative in proposing solutions and capable of critical analysis of results. We demand the student:

    1) to be curious and interested in new technologies

    2) to have excellent skills in scripting and programming (e.g., python, C/C++, Java, ROS) as well as previous experience with simulation tools.

    3) to have a strong background in distributed systems, mobile networks and protocols;

    4) to be fluent in spoken and written English with strong communication and presentation skills.

    5) Experience with mobility modeling, resource management for wireless networks are considered a plus.

    About Inria

    Inria is the French national research institute dedicated to digital science and technology. It employs 2,600 people. Its 200 agile project teams, generally run jointly with academic partners, include more than 3,500 scientists and engineers working to meet the challenges of digital technology, often at the interface with other disciplines. The Institute also employs numerous talents in over forty different professions. 900 research support staff contribute to the preparation and development of scientific and entrepreneurial projects that have a worldwide impact.

    Instruction to apply

    Defence Security : This position is likely to be situated in a restricted area (ZRR), as defined in Decree No. 2011-1425 relating to the protection of national scientific and technical potential (PPST).Authorisation to enter an area is granted by the director of the unit, following a favourable Ministerial decision, as defined in the decree of 3 July 2012 relating to the PPST. An unfavourable Ministerial decision in respect of a position situated in a ZRR would result in the cancellation of the appointment.

    Recruitment Policy : As part of its diversity policy, all Inria positions are accessible to people with disabilities.

    Warning : you must enter your e-mail address in order to save your application to Inria. Applications must be submitted online on the Inria website. Processing of applications sent from other channels is not guaranteed.

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