Design and validation of low-power secure and dependable elliptic curve cryptosystem

Bikash Poudel, Arslan Munir, Joonho Kong, Muazzam A. Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The elliptic curve cryptosystem (ECC) has been proven to be vulnerable to non-invasive side-channel analysis attacks, such as timing, power, visible light, electromagnetic emanation, and acoustic analysis attacks. In ECC, the scalar multiplication component is considered to be highly susceptible to side-channel attacks (SCAs) because it consumes the most power and leaks the most information. In this work, we design a robust asynchronous circuit for scalar multiplication that is resistant to state-of-the-art timing, power, and fault analysis attacks. We leverage the genetic algorithm with multi-objective fitness function to generate a standard Boolean logic-based combinational circuit for scalar multiplication. We transform this circuit into a multi-threshold dual-spacer dual-rail delay-insensitive logic (MTD3 L) circuit. We then design point-addition and point-doubling circuits using the same procedure. Finally, we integrate these components together into a complete secure and dependable ECC processor. We design and validate the ECC processor using Xilinx ISE 14.7 and implement it in a Xilinx Kintex-7 field-programmable gate array (FPGA).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number43
JournalJournal of Low Power Electronics and Applications
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Elliptic curve cryptography
  • FPGA
  • Genetic algorithm
  • Hardware-based security
  • MTD L
  • Side-channel attacks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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