Date of Award

5-2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Mathematical Science

Advisor

Gao, Shuhong

Committee Member

Maharaj , Hiren

Committee Member

Matthews , Gretchen

Committee Member

Xue , Hui

Abstract

Most public key cryptosystems used in practice are based on integer factorization or discrete logarithms (in finite fields or elliptic curves). However, these systems suffer from two potential drawbacks. First, they must use large keys to maintain security, resulting in decreased efficiency. Second, if large enough quantum computers can be built, Shor's algorithm will render them completely insecure.
Multivariate public key cryptosystems (MPKC) are one possible alternative. MPKC makes use of the fact that solving multivariate polynomial systems over a finite field is an NP-complete problem, for which it is not known whether there is a polynomial algorithm on quantum computers.
The main goal of this work is to show how to use new mathematical structures, specifically polynomial identities from algebraic geometry, to construct new multivariate public key cryptosystems. We begin with a basic overview of MPKC and present several significant cryptosystems that have been proposed. We also examine in detail some of the most powerful attacks against MPKCs. We propose a new framework for constructing multivariate public key cryptosystems and consider several strategies for constructing polynomial identities that can be utilized by the framework. In particular, we have discovered several new families of polynomial identities. Finally, we propose our new cryptosystem and give parameters for which it is secure against known attacks on MPKCs.

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