June 9, 2021
Abubakr Abdulgadir - George Mason University
Research in post-quantum cryptography aims to develop and study algorithms that can withstand classical and quantum attacks. The NIST PQC standardization process, now in its third round, specifies ease of protection against side-channel analysis as a desirable selection criterion. In this work, we study the effect of applying side-channel countermeasures on Saber key encapsulation mechanism, a third-round NIST PQC finalist. We develop a baseline lightweight hardware implementation of Saber and apply side-channel countermeasures. Our protected hardware implementation is 26× and 24× faster than previously reported protected software and software/hardware co-design implementations, respectively. Additionally, we show the possibility of developing efficient protected implementations of Saber that incur only 2.17× and 1.2× penalty in terms of the number of LUTs and latency, respectively, in modern FPGAs.