Finalists in NIST Lightweight Crypto Competition

The US National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) has announced the 10 finalists for the last round of the Lightweight Crypto (LWC) Competition. The goal of this competition is to standardize a lightweight authenticated encryption algorithm suitable for constrained environments. It started in 2019 with 56 Round-1 candidates and is expected to select a winner for standardization in 2022.

We are very proud that the finalists include all our 3 submissions:

  • Ascon, previously selected as primary choice for lightweight cryptography by the CAESAR committee, designed by Christoph Dobraunig, Maria Eichlseder, Florian Mendel, and Martin Schläffer

  • ISAP, a design with inherent robustness against certain implementation attacks, designed by Christoph Dobraunig, Maria Eichlseder, Stefan Mangard, Florian Mendel, Bart Mennink, Robert Primas, and Thomas Unterluggauer

  • Elephant, a parallel design by Tim Beyne, Yu Long Chen, Christoph Dobraunig, and Bart Mennink.

For the full list of 10 finalists, see NIST.

The title image shows a marine sponge, the namesake of the cryptographic sponge construction adapted in Ascon and ISAP.