Performance analysis of elliptic curve cryptography for SSL

Impact of using higher key sizes in elliptic curve cryptography versus RSA encryption.


Elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) is emerging as an attractive public-key cryptosystem for mobile/wireless environments. Compared to traditional cryptosystems like RSA, ECC offers equivalent security with smaller key sizes, which results in faster computations, lower power consumption, as well as memory and bandwidth savings. This is especially useful for mobile devices which are typically limited in terms of their CPU, power and network connectivity.

However, the true impact of any public-key cryptosystem can only be evaluated in the context of a security protocol. This paper presents a first estimate of the performance improvements that can be expected in SSL (Secure Socket Layer), the dominant security protocol on the Web today, by adding ECC support.

Keywords: Internet security, wireless, Secure Socket Layer (SSL), elliptic curve cryptography (ECC)


Vipul Gupta, Sumit Gupta, Sheueling Chang, Douglas Stebila. Performance analysis of elliptic curve cryptography for SSL. In Proc. 1st ACM Workshop on Wireless Security (WiSE) 2002, pp. 87-94. ACM, September 2002. © ACM.