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Microsoft wants crypto libraries to be faster and better

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September 15, 2015

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While Congress is thinking of various ways to make data cryptography less effective, the IT industry continues to push in the other direction-- the one to make it even better and safer.

And now Microsoft Research has just published a new crypto library it says is considerably faster and better than what's currently available in the industry.

Outlined in the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR) paper, the implementation, the FourQLib, comes from noted Microsoft researchers Craig Costello and Patrick Longa.

The goal with FourQ is to update today's elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) – implementations like the National Institute of Science and Technology's (NIST's) P-256 and the non-NIST-influenced Curve25519 – since one inevitability of cryptographic technology is that it will become obsolete. And this could happen faster than what some people think.

That 'be-prepared approach' also means a new ECC library needs to be faster, so that crypto doesn't become too great a burden on the CPUs processing it.

Additionally, FourQ is designed to be simpler, which also makes it easier to demonstrate “concrete correctness” for a four-dimensional decomposition.

And it's also simpler for the average developer, they write-- ''FourQ is intended to be used in the same manner, using the same model, same coordinates and same explicit formulas, irrespective of the cryptographic protocol or nature of the intended scalar multiplication.''

“The presence of a single, complete addition law gives implementers the ability to easily wrap higher-level software and protocols around the FourQ’s library exactly as is,” they continue.

And more importantly, the code has been made public for others to audit. We'll keep you posted on this and other security news.

Source: Microsoft.

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