Low-Reiter: Niederreiter Encryption Scheme for Embedded Microcontrollers

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Abstract

Most modern 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 affecting one of those problems could render a large set of cryptosystems completely useless. Coding based public-key schemes are based on the alternative security assumption that decoding unknown linear binary codes is NP-complete. There exist two basic schemes of this type, namely McEliece and the Niederreiter variant, whereas the security of both schemes are equivalent. The latter has the advantage of smaller public keys, but the disadvantage of a computationally expensive mapping, which slows down encryption and decryption.

In this work, we investigate the efficient implementation of the Niederreiter scheme on very constrained micro controllers. We adopt existing algorithms to the limited abilities of the target platform and finally compare the implementation to widely used schemes and also to other alternative public schemes.