Unai Rioja

Ph.D. student at Ikerlan Technological Research Center and Radboud University

I am an external Ph.D. student under the supervision of Prof. Lejla Batina in the Digital Security group of the Radboud University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. I am also part of Ikerlan, a Technological Research Center located in the Basque Country (Spain), where I reside. Concretely, I am part of the Cybersecurity of Embedded Systems team of Ikerlan, where I work as a researcher (Ph.D. student). My main research interests are in the area of analysis, design, and evaluation of Embedded Systems and mainly focus on Cybersecurity for embedded systems and Side-Channel Attacks.

Contact Information

Ikerlan Technological Research Center

Cybersecurity of Embedded Systems team

José María Arizmendiarrieta Pasealekua, 2, 20500 Arrasate, Gipuzkoa, Spain.


Radboud University

Digital Security Group (iCIS)

Mercator 1, 03.17, Toernooiveld 212, 6525 EC Nijmegen, The Netherlands



University of La Rioja

September 2013 - May 2017
Degree in Industrial Electronics and Automaton Engineering
September 2017 - March 2019
M.Sc. degree in Industrial Engineering

Radboud University

June 2019 - Present
Ph.D. Student


Link to Google Scholar

International Journals

  • Unai Rioja, Servio Paguada, Lejla Batina and Igor Armendariz. The uncertainty of Side-Channel Analysis: A way to leverage from heuristics. J. Emerg. Technol. Comput. Syst. 17, 3, Article 40 (May 2021) [link]
  • Unai Rioja, Lejla Batina, Jose Luis Flores and Igor Armendariz. Auto-tune POIs: Estimation of distribution algorithms for efficient side-channel analysis. Computer Networks, Volume 198 (October 2021). [link]
  • Unai Rioja, Lejla Batina, Igor Armendariz and Jose Luis Flores. Towards Human Dependency Elimination: AI Approach to SCA Robustness Assessment. IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security (May 2022). [link]

Conference proceedings

  • Unai Rioja, Lejla Batina and Igor Armendariz. When Similarities Among Devices are Taken for Granted: Another Look at Portability. Progress in Cryptology - AFRICACRYPT 2020. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 12174. pp. 337-357. [link]
  • Servio Paguada, Unai Rioja and Igor Armendariz. Controlling the Deep Learning-Based Side-Channel Analysis: A Way to Leverage from Heuristics. ACNS 2020: Applied Cryptography and Network Security Workshops pp. 106-125. [link]
  • Unai Rioja, Lejla Batina, Jose Luis Flores and Igor Armendariz. Towards automatic and portable data loading template attacks on microcontrollers. 2021 22nd International Symposium on Quality Electronic Design (ISQED'21), pp. 437-443 [link]

Book Chapters

    Marina Krcek, Huimin Li, Servio Paguada, Unai Rioja, Lichao Wu, Guilherme Perin, and Lukasz Chmielewski. Deep Learning on Side-Channel Analysis. In: Security and Artificial Intelligence: A Crossdisciplinary Approach. Ed. by Lejla Batina, Thomas Bäck, Ileana Buhan, and Stjepan Picek. Springer International Publishing, 2022

Preprints (Submitted to journal)

  • Unai Rioja, Lejla Batina, Igor Armendariz and Jose Luis Flores. Keep It Unbiased: A Comparison Between Estimation of Distribution Algorithms and Deep Learning for Human Interaction-Free Side-Channel Analysis. 2021, arXiv, abs/2111.13425. [link]