Research Topic: Cognitive Aspects in Netlist Reverse Engineering




Funded by


[Ministry of Innovation, Higher Education and Research of North Rhine-Westphalia]



Prof. Dr. Nikol Rummel, M.Sc. Markus Weber

External website

External partners


Prof. Christof Paar (Max Planck Institute for Security and Privacy), René Walendy (University of Bochum)

Project description

SecHuman is a transdiciplinary graduate school in which tandems of doctoral students work on contemporary technical and societal challenges of IT security. These tandems are joined by a field-partner (enterprise, NGO, …).

Despite intensive technical research, netlist reverse engineering remains an opaque and as yet little understood process. This is due, among other things, to the fact that non-automated procedures of human analysts in netlist reverse engineering are largely unclear. Initial exploratory findings from qualitative data suggest that working memory may have an impact on speed in hardware reverse engineering (Becker & Wiesen et al., 2020). The aim of the current project is to validate these results and identify further cognitive factors associated with netlist reverse engineering experiences.

Becker, S., Wiesen, C., Albartus, N., Rummel, N., Paar, C. (2020). An Exploratory Study of Hardware Reverse Engineering - Technical and Cognitive Processes: Proceedings of the Sixteenth Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS 2020). USENIX Association.


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