SHARCS 2012 in Washington D.C.


CERG was an organizer of SHARCS 2012 - Special-Purpose Hardware for Attacking Cryptographic Systems workshop held in the Washington Marriott Hotel on March 17-18, 2012. Dr. Kaps served as a general chair of the workshop, and Dr. Gaj was one of the two co-chairs. Graduate students from CERG provided technical and logistic support during the event. This edition of SHARCS had more than 70 participants from 19 countries of 5 continents. The slides of all presentations and the workshop record are posted on the SHARCS 2012 website. An extensive record of the entire series, including all slides and papers from the previous workshops, is available at (3/19/12)

Welcome to the webpage of the Cryptographic Engineering Research Group at George Mason University. Cryptography, from Greek krpto (hidden) and grapho (write), is the science and practice of hiding information. Most Internet users come in contact with cryptography when they go to a secure website of an Internet retailer. Other popular applications are secure e-mail, Internet banking, mobile phones, etc. Cryptography has its roots in mathematics, computer science and engineering. Cryptographic Engineering is concerned with all aspects of implementing cryptographic algorithms in hardware and / or software. This ranges from high performance implementations to ultra-low power implementations of public key and secret key algorithms, fault tolerant implementations, attack resistant implementation and even implementations of attacks.


Developing an Integrated Environment for Detecting and Mitigating Side-channel and Fault attacks on Hardware Platforms

Rajesh Velegalati, PhD ECE Defense of Doctoral Dissertation
Date: Monday, February 2nd, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Location: Engineering Building, Room 3507

Physical implementations of encryption algorithms on any hardware device are proven to leak secret information in the form of so called Side channels and also during sudden change in operational characteristics of the crypto-device i.e. via Fault Injection. The research in this area shows that Side Channel Analysis (SCA) attacks and Fault Injection (FI) pose a major threat because the physical implementations of the cryptographic devices are difficult to control and often result in unintended leakage of information. Generally, all hardware implementations of cryptographic algorithms are assumed to be vulnerable to SCA and FI attacks, if there are no special precautions in the implementation. Differential Power Analysis (DPA) attacks are an efficient form of SCA attacks. Several countermeasures against DPA were proposed, however development of countermeasures which makes use of FPGA features are at an infancy stage. As a part of this dissertation we developed a new countermeasure against DPA which has low-area overhead and makes use of FPGA intrinsic features. In order to validate the new countermeasure proposed, we developed an open-source tool called Flexible Opensource workBench fOr Sidechannel analysis - FOBOS. FOBOS can not only be used for research, but also for educational purposes. We propose a methodology for detecting glitches in hardware implementations on FPGAs using a delay based sampling technique. We use this methodology to validate that our proposed countermeasure is free from early evaluation effects. (Full Announcement)

Latest News:

Dr. Gaj spoke at FPL 2014

Dr. Gaj spoke at the 24th International Conference on Field Programmable Logic and Applications, FPL 2014, held in Munich, Germany, on September 2-4, 2014. Dr. Gaj gave a talk entitled "A Novel Modular Adder for One Thousand Bits and More Using Fast Carry Chains of Modern FPGAs". (09/04/2014)

Visitor from Warsaw University of Technology in Poland

In September and October 2014, CERG is hosting a visiting professor from Warsaw University of Technology in Poland, Prof. Krzysztof (Kris) Szczypiorski. Prof. Szczypiorski is the founder of Network Security Group at WUT and project focused on network steganography and steganalysis. He is the author or the co-author of 180+ publications including 130+ papers and 50+ invited talks. During his visit at GMU, Prof. Szczypiorski will give research seminars, and establish close collaboration on research and education with multiple faculty members and students from the Volgenau School of Engineering (09/01/2014)

Dr. Gaj and Dr. Kaps spoke at DIAC 2014

Dr. Gaj and Dr. Kaps spoke at the DIAC 2014: Directions in Authenticated Ciphers workshop, held in Santa Barbara on August 23-24, 2014. Dr. Gaj gave a talk entitled "Benchmarking of Cryptographic Algorithms in Hardware" and Dr. Kaps gave a presentation entitled "Keccak and AES in FPGAs". (08/18/2014)

Dr. Gaj serves as a co-chair of the special track at ReConFig 2014

Dr. Gaj and Dr. Tim Güneysu from Ruhr University Bochum, Germany, are co-chairs of the special track on Reconfigurable Computing for Security and Cryptography at the 2014 International Conference on ReConFigurable Computing and FPGAs, ReConFig 2014, to be held in Cancun, Mexico, on Dec. 8-10, 2014. (08/18/2014)

Dr. Gaj and Dr. Kaps spoke at CryptArchi 2014

Dr. Gaj and Dr. Kaps attended the 12th CryptArchi workshop on cryptographic architectures embedded in reconfigurable devices, held in Annecy, France on June 29-July 2, 2014. Dr. Gaj gave a talk entitled "Hardware-Software Codesign of Pairing-Based Cryptosystems for Optimal Performance vs. Flexibility Trade-off" and Dr. Kaps gave a presentation entitled "Multi-Purpose Keccak for Modern FPGAs". (07/03/2014)

Kris Gaj and Jens-Peter Kaps Receive Funding from McQ Inc. and Missile Defense Agency

Dr. Gaj and Dr. Kaps received $35K from McQ Inc. and the Missile Defense Agency for their project, "Physical Unclonable Functions (PUFS) for Unique and Robust Encryption Key Generation." (05/12/2014)

Dr. Gaj is a member of the Program Committees of CHES 2014, HASP 2014, IICPS 2014, and LightSec 2014

Dr. Gaj is a member of the Program Committees for the following workshops:

Majority of student members of CERG have contributed their time and expertise serving as sub-reviewers for the aforementioned workshops.(04/07/2014)

Dr. Kaps is a member of the Program Committee of DSD-AHSA 2014 and LightSec 2014

Dr. Kaps serves as a member of the Program Committee of:

Majority of student members of CERG have contributed their time and expertise serving as sub-reviewers for the aforementioned workshops.(04/06/2014)

Dr. Gaj gave a keynote speech at CANSec 2014

Dr. Gaj gave a keynote speech, entitled Battles of Cryptographic Algorithms: From AES to CAESAR in Software & Hardware, at the Fifth Central Area Networking and Security Workshop - CANSec 2014, hosted by University of Arkansas on April 4-5, 2014. (04/05/2014)

Latest Publications:

Copyright Notice

The research papers below are presented here to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All person copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. In most cases, these works may not be reposted on third party websites, reproduced, distributed, sold, or licensed without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.

  • P. Yalla, H. Ekawat, and J.-P. Kaps, Comparison of multi-purpose cores of Keccak and AES, Design, Automation Test in Europe Conference Exhibition DATE 2015, Mar, 2015 [Bibtex]
  • B. Habib, K. Gaj, and J.-P. Kaps, FPGA PUF based on programmable LUT delays, 2013 Euromicro Conference on Digital System Design (DSD), pages 697–704, 2013 [accepted version, pdf] [Bibtex]
  • R. Velegalati, K. Shah, and J.-P. Kaps, Glitch detection in hardware implementations on FPGAs using delay based sampling techniques, 2013 Euromicro Conference on Digital System Design (DSD), pages 947–954, 2013 [Bibtex]
  • M. Rogawski, K. Gaj, and E. Homsirikamol, A high-speed unified hardware architecture for 128 and 256-bit security levels of AES and the SHA-3 candidate Grostl, Microprocessors and Microsystems, volume 37, number 6-7, pages 572-582, 2013 [Bibtex]
  • R. Velegalati and J.-P. Kaps, Towards a Flexible, Opensource BOard for Side-channel analysis (FOBOS), June, 2013, Cryptographic architectures embedded in reconfigurable devices, CRYPTARCHI 2013 [pdf] [Bibtex]