DARPA to Explore Fully Homomorphic Encryption in New Program

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is pursuing an effort to develop hardware that allows for computing on encrypted data with continuous protection.

DARPA said Monday its Data Protection in Virtual Environments or DPRIVE program aims to accelerate computations done with fully homomorphic encryption or FHE, an approach that protects encrypted data while still allowing for processing.

FHE uses lattice cryptography to block cyber attacks via complex, nearly unsolvable mathematical barriers. However, FHE computations generate noise that would eventually corrupt the data at a certain point, and addressing this noise results in a large amount of computational overhead.

The DPRIVE program aims to reduce this overhead and accelerate FHE computations.

"Today, DARPA is continuing to invest in the exploration of FHE, focusing on a re-architecting of the hardware, software and algorithms needed to make it a practical, widely usable solution," said Tom Rondeau, a program manager at DARPA.

The agency hosted a proposer's event on Monday to further inform interested parties on the program. DARPA also launched a presolicitation for DPRIVE and will continue to accept responses through June 2.

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