NTT and Certicom Team for ECC Digital Signature Technology

Certicom Corp. and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation have signed an agreement to conduct joint research on various aspects of elliptic curve cryptography (ECC).

The world class cryptographic research teams at NTT and Certicom will combine their efforts on elliptic curve based digital signatures and their applications. In particular the researchers will focus on extremely small digital signatures that can hide messages in the signature itself, unlike today's signatures where the message is sent separately.

These signatures will be at least ten times smaller than RSA-based digital signatures, yet provides the same level of security, thereby making them ideal for the limited space and power found on small devices.

"We are bringing together two of the best cryptographic research teams in the world to create new security technologies for the mobile platform," said Dr. Scott Vanstone, founder and executive vice-president, strategic technology at Certicom, "We at Certicom are very excited to work with the NTT team on aspects of security that are relevant and necessary for the telecommunications applications that service providers want to offer."

NTT is the global leader in telecommunications and a leading innovator of telecommunication technologies. NTT has several laboratories, one of which, the Information Sharing Platform Laboratories, has performed R&D on information security, especially cryptography, for the past 25 years. Symmetric key encryption, Camellia, public key encryption, PSEC-KEM, digital signatures, ESIGN and ECAO are all developed in the laboratories and are adopted as International Standards ISO/IEC, IEEE, IETF.

Backed by more than 20 years of experience, Certicom is considered a pioneer in ECC research and implementations. The company continues to invest heavily in its research and development team to further explore and develop this technology, which is used in a growing number of sectors ranging from wireless devices and consumer electronics and semiconductors to government and financial services. The small size of ECC is a main driver behind its popularity.