Ala'a Al-Momani

Ala'a received his B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from University of Jordan in Amman, Jordan. He received his M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from Princess Sumaya University for Technology (PSUT) in Amman, Jordan in Collaboration with Ulm University in Ulm, Germany. Generally, Ala'a enjoys working on, and conducting research in, topics related to cybersecurity, privacy, and machine learning while addressing potential intersections among them. Previously, he worked on physical layer security, several VANETs-related aspects, misbehaviour detection, machine learning, and wireless communication. Recently, his research has been focusing on privacy engineering and privacy enhancing technologies, security enclaves, and privacy-preserving machine learning.


Main Interests:

  • Security & privacy in ICT systems
  • Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs)
  • Vehicular networks
  • Machine learning/Artificial intelligence
  • Physical layer-based security models

Side Interests:

  • IoT applications
  • Crypto primitives
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Cellular technologies, e.g. 5G


Lab Courses:

  • Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs) [WiSe'15, WiSe'16, WiSe'17]
  • Security and Privacy in Mobile Systems [SoSe'16, SoSe'18]



Office Hours

Please arrange by Email

Theses & Projects: 

gladly, I am willing to supervise theses and projects related to my research interests. So, do not hesitate to send me an email querying available topics :)




Matousek, Matthias; Yassin, Mahmoud; Al-Momani, Ala'a; van der Heijden, Rens W.; Kargl, Frank
Robust Detection of Anomalous Driving Behavior
IEEE 87th Vehicular Technology Conference (VTC)
Juni 2018
Al-Momani, Ala'a; van der Heijden, Rens W.; Kargl, Frank; Waldschmidt, Christian
Exploiting Propagation Effects for Authentication and Misbehavior Detection in VANETs
Proceedings of the 2016 IEEE Vehicular Networking Conference (VNC)
Herausgeber: IEEE,
Dezember 2016

Zusammenfassung: Vehicular Ad-hoc Networks (VANETs) are a critical and potentially vulnerable target for attacks on both message integrity and authenticity. Existing approaches are based on computationally expensive digital signature, which also creates large message sizes due to the attachment of signatures and certificates to messages. This leads to high communication and verification overheads, both in terms of bandwidth and compu- tational effort. In this paper we discuss an alternative approach to ensure message integrity using characteristics of the received signal for authentication and misbehavior detection.

van der Heijden, Rens W.; Al-Momani, Ala'a; Kargl, Frank; Abu-Sharkh, Osama M.F.
Enhanced Position Verification for VANETs using Subjective Logic
Proceedings of the 2016 IEEE 84th Vehicular Technology Conference: VTC2016-Fall
Herausgeber: IEEE,
September 2016

Zusammenfassung: The integrity of messages in vehicular ad-hoc networks has been extensively studied by the research community, resulting in the IEEE~1609.2 standard, which provides typical integrity guarantees. However, the correctness of message contents is still one of the main challenges of applying dependable and secure vehicular ad-hoc networks. One important use case is the validity of position information contained in messages: position verification mechanisms have been proposed in the literature to provide this functionality. A more general approach to validate such information is by applying misbehavior detection mechanisms. In this paper, we consider misbehavior detection by enhancing two position verification mechanisms and fusing their results in a generalized framework using subjective logic. We conduct extensive simulations using VEINS to study the impact of traffic density, as well as several types of attackers and fractions of attackers on our mechanisms. The obtained results show the proposed framework can validate position information as effectively as existing approaches in the literature, without tailoring the framework specifically for this use case.

Al-Momani, Ala'a; Kargl, Frank; Waldschmidt, Christian
Physical Layer-Based Message Authentication in VANETs
In Björn Scheuermann, Stefan Dietzel, Editor, Fachgespräch Inter-Vehicle Communication 2016 (FG IVC 2016) , Seite 14-17.
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
April 2016

Zusammenfassung: Authenticating legitimate nodes is a major concern of the envisioned vehicular networks. To achieve this, standards and literature propose to use asymmetric cryptographic mechanisms which generate significant overheads in terms of time and power consumption. In this paper, we address this problem and we propose a novel idea of exploiting physical layer characteristics to rely on them for re-authenticating future beacons after verifying the first one cryptographically. Despite the challenges in such high mobility networks, possible concrete approaches to start the evaluation of our scheme are presented. Our approaches are inspired by the vehicular channel related work conclusions which give signs of future success to our scheme in this critical field.

Al-Momani, Ala'a; Kargl, Frank; Waldschmidt, Christian; Moser, Steffen; Slomka, Frank
Wireless Channel-Based Message Authentication
Vehicular Networking Conference (VNC), 2015 IEEE , Seite 277-280.
Herausgeber: IEEE,
Dezember 2015

Zusammenfassung: Inter-vehicle communication has attracted a lot of attention in the past. A major concern is the security and especially the integrity and authenticity of messages. Current standards and proposals in literature leverage asymmetric cryptographic mechanisms to achieve this, which is costly both in terms of consumed computational power, bandwidth, and introduced delay. We present a novel idea to use physical characteristics of the wireless channel to verify subsequent messages after initial trust in a first message has been established cryptographically. In this paper, we sketch the concept and provide a first evaluation on its potential for saving named resources.

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