/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) announced today
that Sun has contributed an Elliptic Curve cryptography code implementation to
the OpenSSL (Secure Socket Layer) project. Elliptic Curve cryptography is an
emerging public-key cryptosystem which provides the same degree of security as
those used in SSL today with approximately one-eighth the key size. This
makes the technology especially useful for mobile devices and other small
devices that are limited in the power, CPU performance, memory, or bandwidth.
"ECC keys are one eighth as long as keys currently used and, therefore,
more suitable for small devices with limited power and storage," said
Whitfield Diffie, Chief Security Officer, Sun Microsystems, Inc. "This will
allow the builders of an upcoming generation of tiny Web clients to enjoy the
security benefits of an open-source implementation of SSL."
OpenSSL provides an open source implementation of the Secure Socket Layer
(SSL), the dominant security protocol used on the Web today. Sun's
contribution also includes a full-strength, general purpose ECC library which
is highly modular and usable for other protocols besides SSL.
The new cross-platform source code contributed by Sun Laboratories is
available under the OpenSSL project's open source license which allows free
use for commercial and non-commercial purposes; thus affording developers the
opportunity to incorporate this next generation cryptographic technology into
innovative new security-enabled products and services. This implementation
can be put to use quickly and internationally, with the confidence that the
technology has been tested through the strength of the open source development
"This contribution reaffirms Sun's commitment to advancing open source
software and the Internet's security infrastructure," said Jim Mitchell, VP
and Director, Sun Microsystems Laboratories. "Sun Labs researchers are
actively contributing to the deployment of next generation security
mechanisms, both by working on standards development and by freely sharing
technology developed at Sun. With the inclusion of ECC in OpenSSL, Sun is
seeding the adoption of key technologies critical to the security needs of the
wireless mobile industry, and the coming tsunami of small devices reachable
over the Internet."
Designed to promote ECC technology standardization and interoperability,
Sun's contributions to the OpenSSL project include:
Addition of ECC cipher suites based on the current IETF internet-draft,
co-authored by Sun, specifying the use of elliptic curve technology in SSL.
Implementation of the Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman (ECDH) key agreement
protocol based on ANSI X9.63.
Addition of elliptic curve support over binary polynomial fields and the
underlying arithmetic library completing the Elliptic Curve cryptographic
library in OpenSSL.
The latest version of the OpenSSL code containing ECC cipher suites can be
found at the OpenSSL website: ftp://ftp.openssl.org/snapshot/ . The download
file is named: openssl-SNAP-20020911.tar.gz or later version.
Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) is an emerging public-key cryptosystem
endorsed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology for U.S.
government use and standardized in IEEE 1363, ANSI X9.62 and ANSI X9.63.
Compared to currently prevalent cryptosystems like RSA, DSA and
Diffie-Hellman, ECC offers equivalent security with smaller key sizes, which
results in faster computations, lower power consumption, as well as memory and
bandwidth savings. For example, 163-bit key Elliptic Curve technology offers
the equivalent security strength of a 1024-bit RSA system.
Managed by a worldwide community of volunteers, the OpenSSL Project
develops and supports the OpenSSL toolkit, an open source implementation of
SSL, the dominant security protocol used on the Internet today. Additional
information can be found on the OpenSSL website at: http://www.openssl.org/ .
About SunNetwork 2002
The SunNetwork 2002 Conference and Pavilion is the only conference
dedicated to showcasing end-to-end solutions from Sun and its partners that
have revolutionized the Internet, networking and computing industries.
SunNetwork 2002 has over 7,000 attendees at its inaugural event this week
participating in over 100 technical sessions and bird of a feather sessions
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About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision -- "The Network Is The
Computer(TM)" -- has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. to its position as a
leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that
make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 170 countries and on the
World Wide Web at http://sun.com .
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CONTACT: Carrie Motamedi of Sun Microsystems, Inc., +1-650-786-0171, or
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