The work in the research project IT Security for Citizens (ITSCI) aims at better and more usable security. This is expected to result in technology that is easy to use for citizens with a limited knowledge of IT and computers, yet is more secure than systems typically in use today.

Better Security

The project aims to solve two basic problems: first, existing hard- and softwareproducts often do not communicate security in a way that ordinary users can understand and relate to. This can degrade security because users take security-related decisions based on incomplete or wrong information.

Second, security-related solutions such as digital signature systems or netbank systems are often tied to one particular computer, and thus mobility and flexibility suffer. Also, this type of solution can often be broken by a sufficiently severe attack on only a single machine.

Mobile security

Today, Danish citizen can get access to a range of services in both the private and the public sector using digital signatures. While the server side of these systems is usually quite reliable, the private citizen's PC is much less secure.

ITSCI's solution to these security and mobility problems is to use a mobile unit to store a share of the key that grants access, while another share of the key is stored on the server side, and will only be used on request of the user. The mobile unit can, for instance, be a mobile phone or a PDA.

Based on this set-up, the user can generate digital signatures that follow normal standards. Yet, a stolen mobile unit cannot be used to forge signatures, nor can the server generate signatures on its own, since neither side on its own knows the private user key.


Slideshow presenting the ITSCI project (in english)


Video explaining the ITSCI project (in danish)



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Ivan Bjerre Damgård

Ivan B. Damgaard is a professor of cryptology. He is director of the ph.d.-school at University of Aarhus, BRICS(Basic Research In Computer Science), member of the board at Center for IT-security, involved in a lot of it-security research programs and a co-founder and owner of Cryptomatic.

Susanne Bødker

Susanne Bødker is a professor of HCI. She has been comanaging a national research center of HCI, and several projects where HCI researchers have cooperated with industrial partners and with users of the future technology. She is associate editor of ACM ToCHI and International Journal of Human-Computer Studies.

Kaj Grønbæk

Kaj Grønbæk is a professor of distributed systems and their applications. He is managing Center for Interactive Spaces and doing some consulting for the Alexandra Institute Ltd. He research interrest is augmented reality, hypermedia and interactive spaces.

Marianne Graves Petersen

Marianne Graves Petersen is an associate professor. She has been project manager of the IHome project and the Everyday Special project and is now managing the The Mobile Home Center - Home Is Where You Are project. Her research interests are interaction design and usable security.

Gert Læssøe Mikkelsen

Gert L. Mikkelsen is a ph.d.-student with his focus on Cryptology, especially on how to use Cryptographic Protocol Theory to heighthen the security and the mobility for nontechnical users usage of IT. His bachelor and master has computer science as its major part and mathematics as its minor part.

Niels Raabjerg Mathiasen

Niels R. Mathiasen is a ph.d.-student with his focus on Usable Security. His bachelor and master has computer science as its major part and rhetorics as its minor part. He has been student countcellor before this project started.

Senest opdateret: 23/03/09