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ECE Master of Science Thesis Defense by: Daniel S. Garcia

When: Friday, April 16, 2021
9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Where: > See description for location
Cost: Free
Description: Topic: A Study of Post Quantum Cipher Suites for Key Exchange

ZOOM Teleconference:
Meeting ID: 940 2435 8507
Passcode: 430046

Current cryptographic solutions used in information technologies today like Transport Layer Security (TLS) utilize algorithms with underlying computationally difficult problems to solve. With the ongoing research and development of quantum computers, these same computationally difficult problems become solvable within reasonable (polynomial) time. The emergence of large-scale quantum computers would put the integrity and confidentiality of today's data in jeopardy. It then becomes urgent to develop, implement, and test a new suite of cybersecurity measures against attacks from a quantum computer.

This thesis explores, understands, and evaluates this new category of cryptosystems as well as the many tradeoffs among them. All the algorithms submitted to NIST for standardization can be categorized into three major categories, each relating to the new underlying hard problem: namely error code correcting, algebraic lattices (including ring learning with errors), and supersingular isogenies. These new mathematical hard problems have shown to be resistant to the same type of quantum attack.

Utilizing hardware clock cycle registers such as RDTSC on x86 architecture and CCNT on ARM architectures, the work sets up the benchmarks of the four Round 3 NIST algorithms in two environments: cloud computing and embedded system. In addition, security levels of each algorithm is analyzed with varying key sizes to highlight tradeoffs. Results show a significant decrease in performance on embedded systems, revealing the aspects of each algorithm such as key pair generation that should be reduced due to performance. As expected, there are many tradeoffs and advantages for certain applications in each algorithm. Saber and Kyber are exceedingly fast but have larger ciphertext size for transmission over a wire. McEliece key size and key generation are the largest drawbacks but having the smallest ciphertext size and only slightly decreased performance allow a use case where key reuse is prioritized. NTRU finds a middle ground in these tradeoffs, being better than McEliece performance wise and better than Kyber and Saber in ciphertext size allows for a use case of highly varied environments, which need to value speed and ciphertext size equally. Going forward, the benchmarking system developed could be applied to digital signature, another vital aspect to a cryptosystem.

NOTE: All ECE Graduate Students are ENCOURAGED to join the zoom teleconference.
All interested parties are invited to join.

Advisor: Dr. Hong Liu
Committee Members: Dr. Honggang Wang and Dr. Liudong Xing, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, UMass Dartmouth

*For further information, please contact Dr. Hong Liu via email at
Topical Areas: General Public, University Community, College of Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering