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Supporting Symmetric 128-bit AES in Networked Embedded Systems: An Elliptic Curve Key Establishment Protocol-on-Chip

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Abstract

The secure establishment of cryptographic keys for symmetric encryption via key agreement protocols enables nodes in a network of embedded systems and remote agents to communicate securely in an insecure environment. In this paper, we propose a pure hardware implementation of a key agreement protocol, which uses the elliptic curve Diffie-Hellmann and digital signature algorithms and enables two parties, a remote agent and a networked embedded system, to establish a 128-bit symmetric key for encryption of all transmitted data via the advanced encryption scheme (AES). The resulting implementation is a protocol-on-chip that supports full 128-bit equivalent security (PoC-128). The PoC-128 has been implemented in an FPGA, but it can also be used as an IP within different embedded applications. As 128-bit security is conjectured valid for the foreseeable future, the PoC-128 goes well beyond the state of art in securing networked embedded devices.

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Correspondence to Roshan Duraisamy.

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Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Keywords

  • Elliptic Curve
  • Embed System
  • Hardware Implementation
  • Electronic Circuit
  • Symmetric Encryption