Paper 2011/502

Wild McEliece Incognito

Daniel J. Bernstein, Tanja Lange, and Christiane Peters


The wild McEliece cryptosystem uses wild Goppa codes over finite fields to achieve smaller public key sizes compared to the original McEliece cryptosystem at the same level of security against all attacks known. However, the cryptosystem drops one of the confidence-inspiring shields built into the original McEliece cryptosystem, namely a large pool of Goppa polynomials to choose from. This paper shows how to achieve almost all of the same reduction in key size while preserving this shield. Even if support splitting could be (1) generalized to handle an unknown support set and (2) sped up by a square-root factor, polynomial-searching attacks in the new system will still be at least as hard as information-set decoding. Furthermore, this paper presents a set of concrete cryptanalytic challenges to encourage the cryptographic community to study the security of code-based cryptography. The challenges range through codes over F_2, F_3,..., F_32, and cover two different levels of how much the wildness is hidden.

Available format(s)
Public-key cryptography
Publication info
Published elsewhere. expanded version
McEliece cryptosystemNiederreiter cryptosystemGoppa codeswild Goppa codeslist decoding
Contact author(s)
c p peters @ mat dtu dk
2011-09-18: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Daniel J.  Bernstein and Tanja Lange and Christiane Peters},
      title = {Wild McEliece Incognito},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2011/502},
      year = {2011},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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