Sun Re-Affirms Commitment to Elliptic Curve Cryptography, Helps Ensure Platform Interoperability

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Feb 5, 2007 12:50 PM EDT
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At RSA, ECC Leaders Discuss Plans to Advance Industry Adoption of Next-Gen Encryption

SAN FRANCISCO, RSA Conference, Feb. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW), the creator of the Solaris(TM) operating system (Solaris OS), today announced that Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) is now interoperable across multiple platforms, including Solaris OS, Windows and Linux. Spearheaded by Sun Labs, Certicom, Microsoft and Red Hat under the ECC Interoperability Forum umbrella, completion of this large undertaking helps ensure that ECC products from these vendors will integrate seamlessly, providing end-to-end security for customers. Leading security companies like RSA and VeriSign have joined the ECC Interoperability Forum, as have open source software projects like Mozilla and Apache.

For years, RSA has been the industry standard for public-key cryptography. Today's 1024-bit RSA keys are expected to double by 2010, putting a very large load on both clients and servers, slowing secure on-line transactions, and greatly exceeding the computational and memory constraints for wireless, mobile devices. ECC offers the same level of security as RSA while using smaller keys. Smaller keys result in faster computations as well as memory, energy and bandwidth savings. The National Security Agency (NSA) has endorsed ECC as the public-key technology of choice for protecting sensitive U.S. Government information. Security sensitive organizations worldwide are expected to follow the NSA's lead and embrace ECC in a big way, especially in the wake of regulatory requirements such as Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA.

"Security is an industry-wide concern that affects nearly every IT company and customer. The full value of a new security technology can only be realized if that technology is deployed broadly and the deployed implementations inter-operate seamlessly," said Vipul Gupta, Distinguished Engineer, Sun Labs. "By teaming with Microsoft, Red Hat, Certicom and others, we were able to extend ECC interoperability to Solaris OS, Windows and Linux -- the world's most pervasive operating systems. With the interoperability hurdle cleared, our customers can immediately start taking advantage of the significant performance and security benefits offered by ECC."

For more than five years, the Next-Generation Cryptography team at Sun Labs has been investigating ECC and exploring its potential. Sun Labs' numerous contributions to the development and industry adoption of ECC include:

*Open source code contributions of ECC functionality to OpenSSL/Apache and

Firefox/Mozilla, Leading the effort to get ECC standardized within secure

socket layer (SSL/TLS), the Internet's dominant security protocol. This

open specification has now been published as IETF RFC 4492 and is

implemented in security products from major technology vendors and open

source projects, and

*Building ECC into Sun Java Web Server(TM) 7.0, Java(TM) SE platform 6.0

and recently taped-out Niagara2 processors Sun and ECC at RSA Conference 2007

ECC will be discussed at 4:10 p.m. on February 6th at RSA (Moscone Center, San Francisco) in a panel titled "ECC/Suite-B in TLS: Lessons Learned, Challenges Ahead." Sun's Vipul Gupta will be joined by moderator Margaret Salter of the National Security Agency and fellow panelists Bill Lattin of Certicom, Ari Medvinsky of Microsoft, and Robert Lord of Red Hat. The panel will focus on the important new application of elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) in Transport Layer Security (TLS) and talk about the industry factors that have spurred this change toward adopting new cryptographic standards.

Encryption expert Whitfield Diffie, Chief Security Officer at Sun, will participate in the Cryptographers Panel on Tuesday, February 6 at 10:45 a.m. Also speaking at RSA are Sun engineers Glenn Brunette, Eve Maler, Ramesh Nagappan, and Pat Patterson.

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.

A singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer"(TM) -- guides Sun in the development of technologies that power the world's most important markets. Sun's philosophy of sharing innovation and building communities is at the forefront of the next wave of computing: the Participation Age. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the Web at . Subscribe to Sun newswire at .

NOTE: Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo Solaris, Sun Java Web Server, Java, and The Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.


Carolyn Rohrer

Sun Microsystems, Inc.


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