Solution Provides Answers to Weak Encryption Keys Common to IoT Devices

Resource-constrained IoT devices are notorious for their inability to host robust encryption with sufficient entropy. Secure Channels’s quantum-resilient, embedded symmetric encryption solution leverages ID Quantique’s (IDQ) quantum technology giving IoT manufacturers a powerful new tool to deliver protected network devices. The new solution particularly adapted for drones will be displayed at the CES 2020 conference Jan. 7 to 10 in Las Vegas.

A recent report by cybersecurity firm Keyfactor emphasizes IoT devices’ lack of adequate entropy sources, leading to serious cybersecurity shortcomings. Entropy provides the integrated cipher with the randomness required in order to generate strong keys that are difficult for adversaries to break. IoT devices like sensors, IP cameras and connected consumer devices are primarily designed for optimal performance, cost and battery life. These considerations leave little space or resources for sound encryption technology. Manufacturers that manage to include encryption into their products gravitate toward common asymmetric ciphers like RSA. However, device architecture often prohibits the inclusion of an entropy source the cryptosystem can leverage. The keys generated in these deployments, therefore, lack the degree of randomness that can keep adversaries from cracking the encryption and accessing the device.

Further diluting IoT device security is the possible weakness of the RSA cipher itself. RSA was determined to be breakable through quantum computing a quarter century ago, giving the cipher an impending shelf life. However, teams in France recently cracked the largest RSA keys to date with shocking speed using classical computers. Although the size of the cracked key (795 bits) is still very very far from the currently used keys (2048 bits), the accomplishment highlights the dangers of asymmetric cryptosystems centered around presumedly unsolvable math and suggests RSA’s whole failure may occur earlier than estimated.

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