MicroEliece: McEliece for Embedded Devices

Abstract

Most advanced security systems rely on public-key schemes based either on the factorization or the discrete logarithm problem. Since both problems are known to be closely related, a major breakthrough in cryptanalysis tackling one of those problems could render a large set of cryptosystems completely useless. The McEliece public-key scheme is based on the alternative security assumption that decoding unknown linear binary codes is NP-complete. In this work, we investigate the efficient implementation of the McEliece scheme on embedded systems what was – up to date – considered a challenge due to the required storage of its large keys. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that the McEliece encryption scheme is implemented on a low-cost 8-bit AVR microprocessor and a Xilinx Spartan-3AN FPGA.