ASCON authenticated encryption with associated data (AEAD) is a CAESAR standard for lightweight applications and also a round 2 candidate in NIST lightweight cryptography standardization competition. ASCON has been in the literature for a while, however, there has been no successful AEAD construction which is secure at the same time lighter than ASCON. In this talk, we show how to overcome the challenge of constructing a permutation that is lighter than the ASCON permutation while ensuring a similar performance. Using this permutation we achieve a lightweight AEAD which we call Sycon. Hardware implementation result shows that the Sycon permutation has 5.35% reduced area, compared to the ASCON permutation. This leads to a remarkable area reduction for Sycon AEAD which is about 14.95% as compared to ASCON AEAD. We regard Sycon as a new milestone as it is the lightest among all the AEADs belonging to the ASCON family.
Sumanta Sarkar is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Warwick. He has both industry and academic experience. He completed his PhD in 2008 at the Indian Statistical Institute. He was a postdoctoral researcher at INRIA, France and University of Calgary, Canada. Before joining Warwick, he spent five years as a research scientist in the R&D division of Tata Consultancy Services in India. His current research topics are post-quantum cryptography, lightweight cryptography and IoT security.