• Facts:
    • Project name: Hardware enabled crypto and randomness
    • Project acronym: HECTOR
    • Project Coordinator: Technikon Forschungs- und Planungsgesellschaft mbH
    • Project start: March 2015
    • Project duration: 3 years

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 for research and Innovation programme under grant agreement n° 644052


Project Partners:
Univ. Jean-Monnet


Hardware enabled crypto and randomness


Mission of HECTOR:

The mission of the HECTOR project is to close the gap between the mathematical heaven of cryptographic algorithms and their efficient, secure and robust hardware implementations. The consortium aims for a stronger European knowledge integration through collaboration among key complementary European security technology and value chain actors, in order to fully unleash and leverage Europe’s security innovation, competitiveness, and leadership potential. We bring together experts from a carefully selected mix of 3 industry-, 3 academia and 3 evaluation lab partners with collective ambitions, potential and track records and with complementary expertise, dissemination and impact potential. Results will not only benefit the companies involved and their customers, but also the broader ICT through publications and inputs to standardization and certification bodies. Project management of this 3-years project with 9 partners in 6 different countries is done by a professional company with an exceptional career track in EU project management.



A single flipped bit or a weak random number generator can cause secure systems to fail. Therefore, the main motivation of this project is to bridge basic algorithmic approaches with hardware-level security implementations. It requires integrating secure cryptographic primitives such as random number generators (RNGs) and physically uncloneable functions (PUFs), together with physical attack countermeasures. The goal is to study, design and implement RNGs and PUFs with demonstrable entropy guarantees and quality metrics. This includes on-the-fly entropy testing and physical attacks evaluations, which will enable more secure systems and easier certification.



The main objectives of HECTOR are to
  • implement state-of-the-art cryptographic algorithms efficient in terms of low-area, low-memory, high throughput, power-efficiency or low-latency
  • provide robust and high-entropy random numbers including quality metrics
  • master gradual degradation of security levels of cryptographic primitives and hardware security countermeasures as a function of randomness quality
  • balance efficiency and robustness and to aim at more efficient countermeasures
  • provide inputs towards certification and standardization regarding quality testing and evaluation of random numbers