Press Release 022/2011

HomER Computes on Encrypted Data

Watch Whom You Trust: The KIT Informatics Innovation Center (IIC) Presents Its HomER Pilot Project for Computing on Encrypted Data.
HomER weist den Weg in die Zukunft der Datenverschlüsselung. Mit historischen Exponaten zeigt das IIC am 16. Februar auch ihre Vergangenheit (Foto: privat)
HomER shows the way into the future of data encryption. On February 16, the IIC will also present exhibits of the past. (Photo: private)

Exchange of sensitive data in business processes requires mutual trust of the partners. Security even without trust is the objective of HomER (HOMomorphic Encryption Realization): By a novel hardware-supported process, two partners, who distrust each other, can make secure computations on the basis of secret inputs. In this way, business data might be adapted such that the result desired becomes known, whereas the input remains protected.

Business processes, such as securities trading, auctions, or resources management are increasingly accomplished in a distributed manner. Their security so far has required mutual trust. Security even without mutual trust is guaranteed by secure computations studied under the HomER project. For example, if public institutions invite tenders, after which the order will go to the company offering the lowest price, construction companies can now submit a secret tender. By means of secure computation, it will be guaranteed that competitors will not obtain any knowledge about other tenders.
Moreover, the user of the newly developed hardware neither has to trust the device nor does he have to know its setup. The security of the process is based on isolation of the system from the outer world by a Faraday cage.  

HomER is the pilot project of the IIC, the cooperation of IBM Deutschland Research & Development, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), and the Research Center for Information Technology (FZI). It focuses on new possibilities of implementing secure computations based on the fully homomorphic encryption invented by IBM. The IIC offers several membership levels to partners from industry and is highly interested in establishing public private partnerships.   

Further information can be found under:

IBM Deutschland Research & Development GmbH, KIT, and FZI will present the prototype on February, 16, 2011, 17.30 hrs, Institute of Cryptography and Security (IKS) at KIT, Am Fasanengarten 5. Journalists are cordially invited.

Kindly register by e-mail using the form enclosed.


Professor Dr. Wilfried Juling, CSO/CIO of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Welcome Addresses by Representatives of Politics and Science
Welcome Addresses:
Mr. Sven Löschenkohl, Vice President - Leader Public Sector - IBM Deutschland GmbH

Keynote: “Cryptography: Magic, Science, or Science Fiction?”

Professor Dr. Dieter Gollmann, Institute for Security in Distributed Applications, Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg

Presentation of the Prototype of the HomER Project
Reception (about 19.30 hrs)

During the reception, representatives of the media will have the opportunity to make interviews.
Exhibition: A small selection of historical encryption machines will be presented.



Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,600 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 23,300 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.

del, 09.02.2011


Monika Landgraf
Head of Corporate Communications, Chief Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-41150
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
presseThw7∂kit edu

Contact for this press release:

Prof. Dr. Jörn Müller-Quade Institut für Kryptographie und Sicherheit (IKS) Tel.: +49 721 608-44205 E-Mail:infoLfb0∂iks kit edu

The press release is available as a PDF file.