In this talk, I will survey recent advances showing that the interest of symmetric cryptographic primitives operating in mid-size prime fields can compensate the (mild) overheads it implies from the performance viewpoint, leading to a better security vs. efficiency tradeoff overall. I will first illustrate this claim with prime field masking, which has good potential to improve the security of masking in low-noise settings. I will then show that similar advantages pop up when considering fresh re-keying, and introduce so-called hard physical learning problems that formalize the expected security of fresh re-keying schemes taking advantage of prime computations. I will conclude by listing a few important research challenges that these early results lead to.
Francois-Xavier Standaert was born in Brussels, Belgium in 1978. He received the Electrical Engineering degree and PhD degree from the Universite catholique de Louvain, respectively in 2001 and 2004. In 2004-2005, he was a Fulbright visiting researcher at Columbia University, Department of Computer Science, Crypto Lab (hosted by Tal G. Malkin and Moti Yung) and at the MIT Medialab, Center for Bits and Atoms (hosted by Neil Gershenfeld). In 2006, he was a founding member of IntoPix s.a. From 2005 to 2008, he was a post-doctoral researcher of the Belgian Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS-F.R.S.) at the UCL Crypto Group and a regular visitor of the two aforementioned laboratories. Since 2008 (resp. 2017), he is associate researcher (resp. senior associate researcher) of the Belgian Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS-F.R.S). Since 2013 (resp. 2018), he is associate professor (resp. professor) at the UCL Institute of Information and Communication Technologies, Electronics and Applied Mathematics (ICTEAM). In 2010, he was program co-chair of CHES (the flagship workshop on cryptographic hardware). In 2011, he was awarded a Starting Independent Research Grant by the European Research Council. In 2016, he was awarded a Consolidator Grant by the European Research Council. From 2017 to 2022, he was elected board member (director) of the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR). He gave an invited talk at Eurocrypt 2019 (one of the flagship IACR conferences). In 2021, he was program co-chair of EUROCRYPT. In 2022 he was a founding member of the SIMPLE-Crypto (non-profit) association. In 2023, he was awarded an Advanced Grant by the European Research Council. His research interests include cryptographic hardware and embedded systems, physical security issues including side-channel & fault attacks, and the design & analysis of cryptographic primitives that can cope with physical attack vectors.