[cryptography] NIST Workshop on Elliptic Curve Cryptography Standards

Thierry Moreau thierry.moreau at connotech.com
Mon May 11 12:56:51 EDT 2015

On 05/09/15 11:18, ianG wrote:
> Workshop on Elliptic Curve Cryptography Standards
> June 11-12, 2015
> Agenda now available!
> The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will host a
> Workshop on Elliptic Curve Cryptography Standards at NIST headquarters
> in Gaithersburg, MD on June 11-12, 2015.  The workshop will provide a
> venue to engage the cryptographic community, including academia,
> industry, and government users to discuss possible approaches to promote
> the adoption of secure, interoperable and efficient elliptic curve
> mechanisms.

I doubt the foremost questions will be addressed:

To which extent NSA influence motivates NIST in advancing the ECC standards?

Can independent academia members present hypothetical mathematical 
advances (even breakthroughs) that NSA could have made, or could 
speculatively expect to make, in order for the NSA to provide the US a 
cryptanalysis advance over the rest of the world (central to NSA mission).

To which extent the table of key size equivalences (between 
factoring-based cryptosystems and ECC schemes) is biased for a faster 
adoption of ECC (e.g. it makes sense to move to ECC because the 
"equivalent" RSA key sizes are inconvenient)?

NIST has been unquestionably useful for the cryptographic community with 
the AES and ASHA competitions. The outcome of the former is a widely 
deployed improvement over prior symmetric encryption algorithms. The 
outcome of the latter appears less attractive for adoption decisions, 
but the very challenges of an efficient secure hash algorithm seems to 
be the root cause, and not the NIST competition process.

With ECC, I have less confidence in NIST ability to leverage the 
cryptographic community contributions.

- Thierry Moreau

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