[Resource Topic] 2023/1914: Efficient Low-Latency Masking of Ascon without Fresh Randomness

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Efficient Low-Latency Masking of Ascon without Fresh Randomness

Authors: Srinidhi Hari Prasad, Florian Mendel, Martin Schläffer, Rishub Nagpal


In this work, we present the first low-latency, second-order masked hardware implementation of Ascon that requires no fresh randomness using only d+1 shares. Our results significantly outperform any publicly known second-order masked implementations of AES and Ascon in terms of combined area, latency and randomness requirements. Ascon is a family of lightweight authenticated encryption and hashing schemes selected by NIST for standardization. Ascon is tailored for small form factors. It requires less power and energy while attaining the same or even better performance than current NIST standards.
We achieve the reduction of latency by rearranging the linear layers of the Ascon permutation in a round-based implementation. We provide an improved technique to achieve implementations without the need for fresh randomness. It is based on the concept of changing of the guards extended to the second-order case. Together with the reduction of latency, we need to consider a large set of additional conditions which we propose to solve using a SAT solver.
We have formally verified both, our first- and second-order implementations of Ascon using CocoAlma for the first two rounds. Additionally, we have performed a leakage assessment using t-tests on all 12 rounds of the initial permutation. Finally, we provide a comparison of our second-order masked Ascon implementation with other results.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2023/1914

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