[Resource Topic] 2021/1452: A Lightweight Implementation of Saber Resistant Against Side-Channel Attacks

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A Lightweight Implementation of Saber Resistant Against Side-Channel Attacks

Authors: Abubakr Abdulgadir, Kamyar Mohajerani, Viet Ba Dang, Jens-Peter Kaps, Kris Gaj


The field of post-quantum cryptography aims to develop and analyze algorithms that can withstand classical and quantum cryptanalysis. The NIST PQC standardization process, now in its third round, specifies ease of protection against side-channel analysis as an important selection criterion. In this work, we develop and validate a masked hardware implementation of Saber key encapsulation mechanism, a third-round NIST PQC finalist. We first design a baseline lightweight hardware architecture of Saber and then apply side-channel countermeasures. Our protected hardware implementation is significantly faster than previously reported protected software and software/hardware co-design implementations. Additionally, applying side-channel countermeasures to our baseline design incurs approximately 2.9x and 1.4x penalty in terms of the number of LUTs and latency, respectively, in modern FPGAs.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2021/1452

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