Versatile FPGA architecture for skein hashing algorithm

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Title: Versatile FPGA architecture for skein hashing algorithm
Author: Webster, David
Abstract: Digital communications and data storage are expanding at fast rates, increasing the need for advanced cryptographic standards to validate and provide privacy for that data. One of the basic components commonly used in information security systems is cryptographic hashing. Cryptographic hashing involves the compression of an arbitrary block of data into a fixed-size string of bits known as the hash value. These functions are designed such that it is computationally infeasible to determine a message that results in a given hash value. It should also be infeasible to find two messages with the same hash value and to change a message without its hash value being changed. Some of the most common uses of these algorithms are digital signatures, message authentication codes, file identification, and data integrity. Due to developments in attacks on the Secure Hash Standard (SHS), which includes SHA-1 and SHA-2 (SHA-224, SHA-256, SHA-384, SHA-512), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will be selecting a new hashing algorithm to replace the current standards. In 2008, 64 algorithms were entered into the NIST competition and in December 2010, five finalists were chosen. The final candidates are BLAKE, Keccak, Gr{o}stl, JH, and Skein. In 2012, one of these algorithms will be selected for the Secure Hash Algorithm 3 (SHA-3). This thesis focuses on the development of a versatile hardware architecture for Skein that provides both sequential and tree hashing functions of Skein. The performance optimizations rely heavily on pipelined and unrolled architectures to allow for simultaneous hashing of multiple unique messages and reduced area tree hashing implementations. Additional result of this thesis is a comprehensive overview of the newly developed architectures and an analysis of their performance in comparison with other software and hardware implementations.
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Date: 2011

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