Derek Atkins, Chief Technology Officer, SecureRF Corporation. Existing public-key solutions like RSA and ECC work well on large systems like laptops and servers, but pose challenges for smaller, resource-constrained systems. While these methods can work on smaller systems with dedicated hardware support, their implementation size may not fit in many constrained devices. If it does fit, the large-number mathematical computation involved results in slower execution, which negatively affects usability and performance. To further complicate matters, these public-key security solutions are all vulnerable to quantum computer attacks.
Public-key security methods based upon Group Theoretic Cryptography (GTC) can survive quantum attacks, fit in extremely small devices, and run orders of magnitude faster than RSA and ECC. These new quantum-resistant methods enable systems of all sizes, from large servers down to passive RFID, to authenticate, generate a shared secret, and communicate securely over open channels. This session introduces the basics of GTC and provides an overview of these new methods including the underlying math, the constructions of two specific GTC methods (Ironwood Key Agreement Protocol and Walnut Digital Signature Algorithm), and the size and performance characteristics on various embedded platforms, including systems with 32, 16, and even 8-bit processors. This session also examines multiple commercial use cases that show how these methods apply to an authentication/credentialing service and an anti-counterfeiting solution.