Enhancing COPACOBANA for Advanced Applications in Cryptography and Cryptanalysis

Tim Güneysu, Chris­tof Paar, Gerd Pfeiffer, Manfred Schimmler

FPL 2008, International Conference on Field Programmable Logic and Applications, Heidelberg, Germany, 8-10 September 2008


Cryptanalysis of symmetric and asymmetric ciphers is a challenging task due to the enormous amount of involved computations. To tackle this computational complexity, usually the employment of specialpurpose hardware is considered as best approach. We have built a massively parallel cluster system (COPACOBANA) based on low-cost FPGAs as a cost-efficient platform primarily targeting cryptanalytical operations with these high computational efforts but low communication and memory requirements. However, some parallel applications in the field of cryptography are too complex for low-cost FPGAs and also require the availability of at least moderate communication and memory facilities. Particularly, this holds true for arithmetic intensive application as well as ones with a highly complex data flow. In this contribution, we describe a novel architecture for a more versatile and reliable COPACOBANA capable to host advanced cryptographic applications like high-performance digital signature generation according to the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) and integer factorization based on the Elliptic Curve Method (ECM). In addition to that, the new cluster design allows even to run more supercomputing applications beyond the field of cryptography.

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