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Postdoctoral Fellow in optical network vulnerability and security

Deadline: 15.08.2019

We are looking for a candidate for a two years postdoc position at SimulaMet, The Center for Resilient Networks and applications addressing the vulnerability of the physical optical infrastructure and methods for detection of malicious network activity and attacks.

The Center for Resilient Networks and applications was established in 2014 as a response to modern society’s massive and increasing dependability on applications running on top of the Internet, as well as to recent events where outages have had serious societal consequences. Since its inception, the Center for Resilient Networks and Applications (CRNA) has worked closely with both public and private actors that are concerned with improving and developing the Norwegian telecommunication infrastructures. CRNA has contributed to important national debates about stability and performance of communication infrastructures. Furthermore, CRNA’s research results have been presented in many competitive international fora, which have led to a wide recognition within the relevant research communities. The Center receives base funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications. The Ministry has given the Center specific responsibilities through a mandate that includes operating an infrastructure for monitoring the state of the Norwegian telecommunications infrastructure and publishing an annual report on that.

We are looking for a postdoc candidate for complementing our team of researchers and engineers. The candidate will be part of a nationally funded project called GAIA that aims to investigate placement of Internet infrastructures, digital value chains and their impact on the cyber safety and digital vulnerability of various nations. The post doc project will focus on the vulnerability of the physical optical infrastructure and methods for detection of malicious activity and attacks.

About GAIA

An online service today is no longer a single unit that is hosted at one particular location. In fact, such a service has become a collection of micro-services that are hosted at diverse geographic locations that may be under different jurisdictions. A closer look reveals that services which most nations rely on are not contained within the respective national borders. Examples include services such as Facebook, Google, Whatsapp, PayPal and various App Stores. Consequently, an increasing number of states are invoking the need for national autonomy to impose tighter controls on service placement, Internet connectivity and network connectivity in general. While these fears could be warranted, a premature push in this direction may undermine the very fabric of openness and trust that binds the Internet together. GAIA aims to bridge an important gap in this respect, which is the lack of maps that describe the geographic distribution of online services, how and which routes the Internet traffic travels between different countries, and the interplay between geopolitics and Internet connectivity. Currently, there is also a lack of methods for revealing route changes in, and attacks on, the physical fibre route as well as layer-1 and layer-2 switched transport routes. The project will therefore explore methods for detection of optical fibre infrastructure attacks; eaves-dropping and sabotage as well as methods for detecting delay changes caused by physical route changes and changes in the switching infrastructure. Gaia will achieve its goals through an interdisciplinary effort that combines technological and political aspects of the problem. To this end, the project consortium comprises a unique set of stakeholders, including computer scientists, physicists, social and political scientists, regulatory bodies and network operators. The envisioned results of GAIA will contribute to improve our understanding of the complex interplay between digital vulnerabilities and national autonomy, which will be of relevance to policy makers, technologists and end users.

The Post. Doc. will work with senior researchers as well as closely with PhD students within the project topic, assisting in supervision.

General requirements

  • PhD science in computer science, physics, photonics, electrical engineering or a similar subject area
  • Fluency in English both written and spoken

Position requirements

  • Good understanding of fibre optical networks
  • Good understanding of optical network experimental methods
  • Familiarity with basic IP networking, MPLS, OTN and Ethernet.
  • Familiarity with machine learning is a major advantage
  • Familiarity in R, Python and C/C++ is a plus
  • Familiarity with Linux systems is a plus

Subjects to be addressed:

  • Detecting physical sabotage on fibre-cables, both land-based and sub-sea cables.
    • Fibre-cuts or damage to the fibre
    • Using Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) methods.
    • Using polarization characterizing methods.
    • Using end-to-end based detection methods
  • Detecting sabotage in optical networks by insertion of noise-signals
    • Alien wavelength noise signals
    • Noise-signals inserted through fibre-tapping
  • Eaves dropping of fibre
    • Detecting the use of fibre-tapping device
    • Detecting physical intrusion on fibre-cables using end-to-end detection methods
    • Using Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) methods for detecting physical movements of fibre-cables or objects physically impacting the fibre-cables.
  • Delay changes in path and infrastructure
    • Detection of delay changes in the physical path
    • Detection of delay changes in a switched path.

Tampnet is a cooperation partner that will support experimental activity with required infrastructure, especially sub-sea cable resources.

SimulaMet Offers

  • A highly dynamic and motivated team of international researchers and engineers.
  • A well-established collaboration with applied research teams and companies.
  • An informal and inclusive international working environment.
  • Professional courses and workshops in scientific and transferable skills.
  • Good office facilities located in the Oslo downtown.
  • Support with administrative matters, EU funding, accommodation, and visas
  • A competitive salary.

The successful candidate will also enjoy an inspiring and resourceful environment, with the possibility of travelling to conferences, short- and long-term research visits to existing and new collaborators.

Application Requirements

Candidates are requested to send a CV, a brief statement of research interests (up to 2 pages), and the contact details of at least two reference persons in a single PDF file. After initial screening, relevant candidates will be asked to provide further documentation of education and work experience.

We are looking for candidates who can start in the fall of 2019. Hence, applications will be screened continuously and a decision will be made as soon as we have found the right candidate.

For further information please contact:

Simula Metropolitan Center for Digital Engineering uses Semac´s background check in our recruitment process.

According to the Norwegian Freedom and Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

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