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Meet the Fastest Public-Key Algorithm Few Have Even Heard Of

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The Accredited Standards Committee X9 has approved NTRUEncrypt, a public-key algorithm that was invented in the mid 1990's. Although NTRU is not widely used, it is considered to be faster than both elliptic-curve cryptography (ECC) and RSA.

"Comparing NTRU to other cryptosystems like RSA and ECC shows that NTRU, at a high security level, is much faster than RSA [around five orders of magnitude] and ECC [around three orders of magnitude]," say Katholieke Universiteit Leuven researchers. NTRU may be more resistant over time to attack than RSA because it is constructed in a lattice framework, which would enable it to hold up better in quantum computing attacks, says Ed Adams, CEO of Security Innovation, NTRU's owner.

RSA Labs chief scientist Ari Juels acknowledges that NTRU is faster, but argues that the RSA algorithm and cryptosystem is a more mature and time-tested public-key crypto technology. "NTRU hasn't received a lot of scrutiny," Juels notes. Adams says Security Innovation plans to make available an open source model of NTRU that may increase industry interest.

From Network World
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