This page is dedicated to the syndrome decoding problem for random binary linear codes, in the range of parameters similar to the Goppa-McEliece cryptosystem.

**Syndrome Decoding problem.** Given integers \(n, k,
w\) such that \(k \leq n\) and \( w \leq n\), an instance
of the problem \(\mathrm{SD}(n,k,w)\) consists of a
parity-check matrix \({\rm \bf H} \in \mathbb{F}_2^{(n-k)
\times n}\) and a vector \({\rm \bf s} \in
\mathbb{F}_2^{n-k}\) (called the *syndrome*). A
solution to the problem is a vector \( {\rm \bf e} \in
\mathbb{F}_2^n \) of Hamming weight \(\leq w\) such that
\( {\rm \bf He^{\top}} = {\rm \bf s^{\top}} \).

**The challenge.** Here, we focus on instances with code
rate \( R = 0.8 \), that is \(k = 0.8\,n\). We will chose a weight
\(w = \lceil \frac{n}{5 \lceil \log_2 n \rceil} \rceil
\). With these choices of parameters, we intend the problem to
be as close as possible to the problem on which relies the Classic
McEliece cryptosystem proposed for the NIST standardization
process.

Under these conditions, instances with cryptographic size are
assumed to be out of reach, so we propose **instances with
increasing size** to see how hard this problem is in practice.

**Trapdoor.** The matrix \( {\rm \bf H} \) is picked
uniformly at random but the syndrome \( {\rm \bf s} \) is
generated using a trapdoor, to ensure that there exists a
solution of weight \(w\). First a vector \( {\rm \bf e} \in
\mathbb{F}_2^n \) is chosen uniformly at random^{*} among all vectors
of weight \(w\), then we compute the value of \(\rm \bf s\)
such that \( {\rm \bf He^{\top}} = {\rm \bf s^{\top}} \). To
ensure that the challenge is fair, we provide different
versions of the challenge for each size, generated
independently by people in different institutions.

**How to participate?**

- Choose a provider for the challenge you want to solve. This indicates who generated the instance. Because the instances are generated using a trapdoor, please pick an institution which is independent from yours to ensure the fairness of the competition.
- Choose the value of \(n\) for which you want to solve the problem and download the corresponding instance (on the right).
- Parse the instance to get the values of \(w, \rm \bf H\) and \(\rm \bf s\). Find a vector \(\rm \bf e\) of weight \(\leq w\) such that \( {\rm \bf He^{\top}} = {\rm \bf s^{\top}} \).
- Submit your solution using the submission form. If your solution is correct and you solved a new challenge, your name will appear in the hall of fame.

Length | Weight | Authors | Details |
---|---|---|---|

865 | 18 | Valentin Vasseur | See details |

808 | 17 | Valentin Vasseur | See details |

751 | 16 | Valentin Vasseur | See details |

695 | 14 | Valentin Vasseur | See details |

640 | 13 | P. Loidreau | See details |

*** Note on the source of randomness (6th Sept. 2019).**
We are grateful to Taylor Campbell for
pointing out the weakness induced by using the
standard Python PRNG. Challenges of length > 534 (that were not already solved) have been
replaced by freshly generated ones, using urandom as source of randomness.

Submit your solution

Hall of fame

##### Download instances

Hall of fame

A list of instances (indexed by length) generated by:

lines 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 are comments

- line 2 is the length \( n \)

- line 4 is the dimension \( k = 0.8 n\)

- line 6 is the target weight \( w \)

- lines 8 to 7 + \( 0.8 n \) form a binary square matrix \( {\rm \bf M} \), such that \( {\rm \bf H} = [ {\rm \bf I}_{0.8 n} | {\rm \bf M}^\top ] \) is the parity-check matrix of the challenge

- line 8 + \( 0.8 n \) is a comment

- line 9 + \( 0.8 n \) is the target syndrome

Details here.