*** For immediate use June 7, 2011
Tokyo, June 7, 2011 - NEC Corporation (NEC) announced today the development of a circuit system that processes large amounts of anonymous authentication transactions at a high speed and consumes low amounts of power while protecting both security and privacy.
Currently, secure authentication with digital signatures is used throughout a wide variety of network equipment, including terminals and servers. Digital signature authentication ensures that each user is identified in every transaction. When this technology is used within a cloud environment, large amounts of personal information may be logged and stored on cloud servers, which potentially threatens the privacy of users.
NEC has driven the advancement of research in the field of anonymous authentication through group signature schemes (*1) that exclusively verify group membership, without identifying individuals, and the development of LSI for accelerating such cryptographic procedures. However, successful implementation of this technique in a cloud environment is challenged by the high process speeds that are required in order to handle a large number of authentication requests.
In response to these needs, NEC developed an effective, low-power hardware accelerator for processing multiple authentication requests simultaneously. Test results from servers equipped with NEC's accelerator indicate that the authentication processing speed can be increased by more than 10 times, and power consumption can be decreased to less than 1% of that required for conventional computation methods using software.
These developments enable highly secure anonymous authentication to be easily provided to locations that include cloud environment data centers and others.
The main features of these newly developed technologies include the following:
NEC developed a parallel processing algorithm that carries out multiple anonymous authentication requests simultaneously. This enables more than 10 times the authentication processing to take place during the same amount of time that software requires for one authentication.
NEC developed new hardware architecture that maximizes the performance of circuits by concentrating the circuit resources that conduct the same types of calculations in a single area inside LSI and optimizing the number of these resources. Compared to the side by side arrangement of single authentication circuits, NEC's new architecture enables circuit size to be reduced by half. In addition, power consumption is reduced to less than 1% of that of conventional server software.
These newly developed anonymous authentication circuit technologies have been partly supported by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
NEC will continue to actively develop secure technologies and products while promoting the standardization (*2) of these anonymous authentication technologies.
Group signature schemes certify if an individual belongs to a group that possesses certain rights or privileges. These schemes allow the group members to remain anonymous, but in the event of a problem, a designated authority can revoke the anonymity and identify the member. NEC developed LSI that accelerates the computations used in these schemes.
"NEC Develops LSI that Protect Security and Privacy"
This technology is being standardized in a joint technical committee comprised of the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission.
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