Alibaba Innovative Research (AIR) > Data Security and Privacy Protection
Post-Quantum Public-key Encryption Based on Error-Correction Codes

Research Themes

Data Security and Privacy Protection

Background

Recently, as quantum computers have been proven to break many of the public-key cryptosystems currently in use, the need of new security methods has drawn attention from many researchers. Although a large-scale quantum computer has not been built, people now believe that the realization is an engineering challenge which can be tackled in the next decades. This would seriously compromise the confidentiality and integrity of the data storage and communications.  The goal of post-quantum cryptography is to develop cryptographic systems that are secure against both quantum and classical computers, and can be adapted to the existing internet protocols and storage systems.

 

  The cryptographic hardware and software are widely used in the server infrastructure, such as data network, storage systems, and computation services. The reason is that the complete security protection requires the proof through the whole data flow from every aspect. Among those algorithms the most importance is the public key algorithm, which ensures the computational impracticality to access the data encryption key. Since the error-correction codes are well analyzed, we selected a very promising algorithm from NIST PQC Round 3 candidates of key encapsulation, the Classic McEliece, which uses Goppa code to secure the message. However, our scope could be extended to The Learning with Errors problem, or even Lattice-based algorithms, since it has many similarities with error-correction codes.

 

  To better serve the need of the Server Group in Alibaba Infrastructure Services, the proposal would emphasize the hardware implementation. Compared to the academic research results, which are mainly using FPGA, part of our future works would be the ASIC implementation, such that the novel hardware could be integrated into our customized chips.

Target

Software Implementation: Classic McEliece C model source codes.

Hardware Implementation: RTL source codes of Classic McEliece. Performance validation and functional testing by FPGA.

Research: Adapt Patterson Algorithm in software. Replace Goppa codes with Medium-Density Parity-Check codes in software. Investigate the performance.

Related Research Topics

· MDPC performance enhancement by improving the bit-flipping algorithm.

· MDPC performance enhancement by irregular and/or generalized matrix design.

· Goppa codes performance enhancement by using Patterson algorithm.

· Goppa codes performance enhancement by improving Chien Search.

· Evaluation of Learning with Error Problem Cryptography, such as CRYSTAL.

· Evaluation of Lattice-based Cryptography, such as NTRU.

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