SAFEcrypto will provide a new generation of practical, robust and physically secure post-quantum cryptographic solutions that ensure long-term security for future ICT systems, services and applications. Novel public-key cryptographic schemes (digital signatures, authentication, identity-based encryption (IBE), attribute-based encryption (ABE)) will be developed using lattice problems as the source of computational hardness.

The project will involve novel algorithmic and design optimisations, and implementations of the lattice-based cryptographic schemes addressing the cost, energy consumption, performance and physical robustness needs of resource-constrained applications, such as mobile and battery-operated devices, and of real-time applications, such as network security, satellite communications and cloud.

Currently a significant threat to cryptographic applications is that the devices on which they are implemented (e.g. processors, FPGAs, ASICs) leak sensitive information, which can be used to mount successful attacks to recover secret information. In SAFEcrypto the first comprehensive analysis and development of physical-attack resistant methodologies for lattice-based cryptographic hardware and software implementations will be undertaken and integrated into the novel architectures proposed.

Effective models for the management, storage and distribution of the keys utilised in the proposed schemes (as key sizes may be in the order of kilobytes or megabytes) will also be provided.

This project will deliver proof-of-concept demonstrators of the novel lattice-based public-key cryptographic schemes for three practical real-world case studies with real-time performance and low power consumption requirements. In comparison to current state-of-the-art implementations of conventional public-key cryptosystems (RSA-based and Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC)-based primitives), SAFEcrypto’s objective is to achieve a range of lattice-based architectures that provide comparable area costs, a 10-fold speed-up in throughput for real-time application scenarios, and a 5-fold reduction in energy consumption for low-power embedded and mobile applications.

SAFEcrypto brings together a consortium of four academic institutions, one research-intensive cyber-security SME and two multi-national security companies, providing a balance of expertise in theoretical cryptographic primitive construction, cryptographic architecture design and optimisation, side channel analysis and key management. The industry partners present excellent opportunities for commercialisation of the project results.