Elliptic Curve Cryptography(ECC) is one of the powerful cryptographic methods that requires less computational effort.

IoT requires a cryptosystem that secures smart services and applications (5As i.e. anywhere, anytime, anyhow, any device and network agnostic) via its Intelligent Smart Card (ISC).

Would this be a suitable cryptosystem for Internet of Things(IoT)?

  • 1
    yeah, lots of low power stuff uses ECC, smartcards included
    – dandavis
    Jul 4, 2016 at 0:21
  • multimedia, internet phone calls and internet multimedia video conferences also employ ECC, since it offers the same level of security as the public key cryptography with a smaller key size. Jul 5, 2016 at 12:50
  • comparable, not the same. there are different ups and downs to ECC than RSA
    – dandavis
    Jul 5, 2016 at 18:51

1 Answer 1


Yes, why not. Key generation (including key generation for ECDH) and private key operations are relatively efficient compared to other cryptosystems such as RSA.

There are some things to keep in mind:

  • standard ECC operations such as ECDSA do require a good random number generator to be present (this can be avoided by using deterministic signature schemes such as described in RFC 6979;
  • the small key size makes it relatively simple to use quantum computers to break the system (calculations on smaller number mean less qubits required).

RSA keys of the same strength are only 4 times harder to crack on a QC if current research is any indication. That may not be much of a difference when push comes to shove.

Note that although ECC is relatively efficient compared to RSA, it still requires a fast (Montgomery) multiplier. On smart cards this is usually implemented in hardware - and with good reason. Compared with symmetric crypto, it's still a dog; doing 256 bit modular exponentiation on a 8 bit processor may take - ahem - some time to complete.

You might also require side channel attack protection as well.

  • 2
    You can securely generate ECDSA signatures without a randomness source; see RFC 6979. Of course, good randomness is required for key generation. Jul 9, 2016 at 20:26
  • @ThomasPornin I tried to avoid that comment by using the word "standard", then again I wouldn't know why deterministic ECDSA could not be used for IoT protocols... Jul 9, 2016 at 22:53

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