Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
Highlights of the Year
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: Application Domains

Better Awareness and Avoidance of Cryptanalytic Threats

Our study of the Number Field Sieve family of algorithms aims at showing how the threats underlying various supposedly hard problems are real. Our record computations, as well as new algorithms, contribute to having a scientifically accurate assessment of the feasibility limit for these problems, given academic computing resources. The data we provide in this way is a primary ingredient for government agencies whose purpose includes guidance for the choice of appropriate cryptographic primitives. For example the French ANSSI (In [25], the minimal recommended RSA key size is 2048 bits for usage up to 2030. See also Annex B, in particular Section B.1 “Records de calculs cryptographiques”.), German BSI, or the NIST (The work [36] is one of only two academic works cited by NIST in the initial version (2011) of the report [40].) in the United States base their recommendations on such computational achievements.

The software we make available to achieve these cryptanalytic computations also allows us to give cost estimates for potential attacks to cryptographic systems that are taking the security/efficiency/legacy compatibility trade-offs too lightly. Attacks such as LogJam [24] are understood as being serious concerns thanks to our convincing proof-of-concepts. In the LogJam context, this impact has led to rapid worldwide security advisories and software updates that eventually defeat some potential intelligence threats and improve confidentiality of communications.