Adiantum?? Well, that’s a word that sounds a bit strange. It does not sound like a tech word at all, right?

Adiantum sounds strange only until you get to what know it is. After getting to know about it, to me sounds like “Encryption for everybody”.

 

Hear’s a brief description of Encryption before going into details about Adiantum- Encryption is a securing the confidentiality of data through cryptography. After being encrypted, only a person with a key can read that content. An encrypted device protects the privacy of your data even if it got lost or stolen.

But encryption, just like all other good things, comes at a price. It slows down the devices that use it as the processing resources of the device/machine are shared with the encryption tool as well. As a solution for this, SOME devices use hardware specialized for AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) to get their locally stored files encrypted without slowing down the device. Usually, these are powerful, expensive devices.

Low power or budget device can’t use this solution. They have no specialized hardware build for encryption, they use less expensive SOC with less capacity. If AES is put into devices of this kind, it will make the device very slow, apps will take a long time to load and all together it will result in poor user experience.

This is where Adiantum comes in.As stated in paper by Paul Crowley and Eric Biggers, Google LLC , the official term for Adiantum is “length preserving encryption for entry-level processors”. Adiantum is an open source project by Google to provide a storage encryption mechanism for low power devices like Android Go phones, smart watches, TVs, connected medical Tech etc.(processors based on ARM Cortex – A7). Its’ long term goal is to address the security problems that would occur in future with the rapid growth of IoT(Internet of Things – smart devices connected together as a network for smart living, travelling or work). It is predicted that in the future, IoT will play a gigantic role in human lives just like the internet is doing today. Billions of people will have the ability to save files safely on their devices because of Adiantum.

Adiantum is written in C++ and python programming languages.It uses ChaCha20 stream cipher for encryption.The Google Security Blog explains Adiantum in detail and the source code is available at https://opensource.google.com/projects/adiantum