API for OpenSSL developers to add elliptic curve cryptography to their applications

Certicom announced Security Builder API for Open Source to help OpenSSL developers easily add elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) to their applications. The SSL shim, or abstraction layer, allows developers to plug SSL applications into Certicom’s software cryptographic providers that include elliptic curve and Suite B algorithms as well as a pre-approved FIPS-140-2 cryptographic module.

The small size of ECC algorithms is the main driver behind its growing popularity in both commercial and government sectors. This efficiency (more security per bit) offers performance improvements with little impact on battery life and memory. For example, the use of 224-bit ECC in OpenSSL could increase performance by 3x on Apache Web Servers, resulting in 3x as many transactions being processed in a given timeframe. OpenSSL is the security layer used by Apache Web Server, the most dominant Web server on the Internet.

The efficiency of ECC also results in a longer cryptographic life span, which was one of the main drivers behind the National Security Agency (NSA) identifying ECC-based security mechanisms in Suite B, the recommended guidelines for protecting government communications.

Security Builder API for Open Source is a cost-effective way for OpenSSL developers to support ECC, including Suite B algorithms, and be FIPS 140-2 compliant. Pricing depends on the customer’s platform requirements and includes developer licenses, royalties, and support services.

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