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Measuring Performances of a White-Box Approach in the IoT Context

Department of Computer Science, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Celoria 18, 20133 Milan, Italy
Open Systems AG, Räffelstrasse 29, 8045 Zurich, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Symmetry 2019, 11(8), 1000;
Received: 12 June 2019 / Revised: 12 July 2019 / Accepted: 26 July 2019 / Published: 3 August 2019
PDF [690 KB, uploaded 3 August 2019]


The internet of things (IoT) refers to all the smart objects that are connected to other objects, devices or servers and that are able to collect and share data, in order to “learn” and improve their functionalities. Smart objects suffer from lack of memory and computational power, since they are usually lightweight. Moreover, their security is weakened by the fact that smart objects can be placed in unprotected environments, where adversaries are able to play with the symmetric-key algorithm used and the device on which the cryptographic operations are executed. In this paper, we focus on a family of white-box symmetric ciphers substitution–permutation network (SPN)box, extending and improving our previous paper on the topic presented at WIDECOM2019. We highlight the importance of white-box cryptography in the IoT context, but also the need to have a fast black-box implementation (server-side) of the cipher. We show that, modifying an internal layer of SPNbox, we are able to increase the key length and to improve the performance of the implementation. We measure these improvements (a) on 32/64-bit architectures and (b) in the IoT context by encrypting/decrypting 10,000 payloads of lightweight messaging protocol Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT). View Full-Text
Keywords: symmetric cryptography; IoT; MQTT; white-box approach; the SPNbox family symmetric cryptography; IoT; MQTT; white-box approach; the SPNbox family

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Albricci, D.G.V.; Ceria, M.; Cioschi, F.; Fornari, N.; Shakiba, A.; Visconti, A. Measuring Performances of a White-Box Approach in the IoT Context. Symmetry 2019, 11, 1000.

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