Title: Accelerating the AES encryption function in OpenSSL for embedded systems

Authors: Vishnu P. Nambiar, M. Khalil-Hani, Muhammad M. Zabidi

Addresses: Dept. of Microelectronics and Computer Engineering, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Skudai, Johor, Malaysia. ' Dept. of Microelectronics and Computer Engineering, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Skudai, Johor, Malaysia. ' Dept. of Microelectronics and Computer Engineering, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Skudai, Johor, Malaysia

Abstract: The internet is an insecure medium and hence, there is an increasing demand for measures to guarantee data privacy and integrity in the associated computer systems and networks. However, data protection and network security comes at a very high cost in the supporting embedded systems. While there are freely available solutions such as the OpenSSL library, the performance of most embedded processors, on their own, are just not adequate enough to perform cryptography for real-time network security applications. In this paper, we focus on the implementation of a cryptographic (crypto) embedded system, deploying an Altera Nios II embedded processor working with an AES encryption hardware accelerator. The RTOS applied is uClinux, on which the OpenSSL library has been ported and cross-compiled. Experimental results show that hardware acceleration can improve, significantly, the performance of OpenSSL crypto functions and hence, of the SSL connection as well.

Keywords: AES encryption; OpenSSL; Nios2-Linux; uClinux; embedded systems; system-on-chip; SoC; hardware acceleration; network security; data protection; cryptography; embedded processors.

DOI: 10.1504/IJICT.2009.026432

International Journal of Information and Communication Technology, 2009 Vol.2 No.1/2, pp.83 - 93

Published online: 11 Jun 2009 *

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