Galois’s BASALISC Project Wins $15.3M DARPA Contract and Aims to Finish “The Last Mile” of Data Confidentiality

The basilisk is a creature from legend that could permanently stop its adversaries with only a glance. Its venom was also described by Pliny the Elder as being able to run up the spear of an adversary and permanently end that threat, as well. 

Inspired by the legendary creature’s prowess at securing “the last mile” of its own vulnerability, Galois, along with our partners KU Leuven, University of Arkansas, and Verilab, developed Bespoke Asynchronous Silicon-Accelerated LWE Intrinsics through Software/Hardware Codesign (BASALISC) – a multifaceted project that aims to secure the “last mile” of data confidentiality.

BASALISC is part of DARPA’s Data Protection in Virtual Environments (DPRIVE) program, which aims to design and implement hardware accelerators for Fully Homomorphic Encryption (FHE) computations.

BASALISC is truly a multidisciplinary effort. The project will realize both hardware and software innovations, bringing together Galois’s core strengths in homomorphic encryption, formal verification, advanced ASIC design, and compiler development to create a hardware solution that maximizes efficient FHE performance while remaining flexible enough to support diverse FHE parameter settings and application needs.

This project aims to dramatically improve performance of homomorphic encryption over what is currently achievable using software or FPGA hardware FHE techniques. We believe BASALISC will succeed by taking a software/hardware co-design approach to achieve performance, and by employing formal methods to provably verify key properties of the basic computation engines included in the BASALISC design. 

We’re particularly excited that BASALISC will bring together all of these aspects of Galois’s expertise. Be sure to check our blog for updates! 

You can read more specifics about BASALISC on our project page.

This material is based upon work supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) under Contract No. HR0011-21-C-0034. 

Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).