NEC develops authenticated encryption technology for IoT sensors and devices

Via NEC News room

Jul 21, 2015

Tokyo, July 21, 2015 - NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 6701) today announced the successful development of OTR, an authenticated encryption technology that reduces computational complexity to approximately half that of existing conventional technologies.

OTR enables the use of highly-secure authenticated encryption when connecting sensors and other devices with restricted data processing via the Internet of Things (IoT).

This technology has successfully cleared the first round of selection in the Competition for Authenticated Encryption: Security, Applicability, and Robustness (CAESER), an authenticated encryption competition funded by the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Clearing the first round of this competition is a major step towards recommendation as a next-generation authenticated encryption technology. After further screening, finalists in the CAESER competition will be selected in 2016, concluding with a next-generation authenticated encryption technology scheduled to be decided in December 2017.

"Looking ahead, in addition to aiming for CAESER adoption as a next-generation authenticated encryption technology, NEC will continue to advance its research into these technologies as part of achieving more robust security for the company's Solutions for Society," said Motoo Nishihara, General Manager, Knowledge Discovery Research Laboratories, NEC Corporation.

Key features of this new technology are as follows:

  • Development of authenticated encryption technology with low computational complexity NEC developed Offset Two-round (OTR) authenticated encryption technology that utilizes a block cipher and performs both encryption (confidentiality) and message authentication (integrity) efficiently. This is in contrast to conventional methods, where authentication requires the same computational complexity as encryption. OTR is a creative block-cipher mode of operation, combining the processing of encryption and authentication-tag generation into a joint process, thereby reducing the computational complexity by half.

OTR also enables high-speed data processing through parallel processing. Moreover, since OTR utilizes the block cipher encryption function for the decryption of received data, it also eliminates the implementation of the block-cipher decryption function. This helps to suppress the size and scale of programs and circuitry, and increases its degree of implement-ability in miniature sized sensors and devices.

  • AES-OTR: OTR using the block cipher Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) AES-OTR guarantees the security of authenticated encryption as a whole, based on the security of AES, while also enabling more efficient authenticated encryption than with conventional technologies. This is accomplished by utilizing the rich implementation assets of AES developed to date, such as circuits, special instructions of processors and software. The high-speed performance of AES-OTR has also been verified.
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