Skip to Main Content
In this paper, we propose a light-weight provably-secure authentication protocol called the NLHB protocol, which is a variant of the HB protocol. The HB protocol uses the complexity of decoding linear codes for security against passive attacks. In contrast, security for the NLHB protocol is proved by reducing the provably hard problem of decoding a class of nonlinear codes to passive attacks. We demonstrate that the existing passive attacks, on the HB protocol family, which have contributed to considerable reduction in its effective key-size, do not work against the NLHB protocol. From the evidence, we conclude that smaller-key sizes are sufficient for the NLHB protocol to achieve the same level of passive attack security as the HB Protocol. Further, for this choice of parameters, we provide an implementation instance for the NLHB protocol for which the Prover/Verifier complexity is lower than the HB protocol, enabling authentication on very low-cost devices like RFID tags.