Fast symmetric cryptography in Javascript

Authors: E. Stark, M. Hamburg, and D. Boneh

We take a systematic approach to developing a symmetric cryptography library in Javascript. We study various strategies for optimizing the code for the Javascript interpreter, and observe that traditional crypto optimization techniques do not apply when implemented in Javascript. We propose a number of optimizations that reduce both running time and code size. Our optimized library is about four times faster and 12% smaller than the fastest and smallest existing symmetric Javascript encryption libraries. On Internet Explorer 8, our library is about 11 times faster than the fastest previously existing code. In addition, we show that certain symmetric systems that are faster than AES when implemented in native x86 code, are in fact much slower than AES when implemented in Javascript. As a result, the choice of ciphers for a Javascript crypto library may be substantially different from the choice of ciphers when implementing crypto natively. Finally, we study the problem of generating strong randomness in Javascript and give extensive measurements validating our techniques.

In proceedings of ACSAC 2009.

Full paper: pdf

Related papers: See the project web site.