Post-Quantum Key Exchange for the Internet & the Open Quantum Safe Project

  • Douglas Stebila, Department of Computing & Software, McMaster University
  • Michele Mosca, Institute for Quantum Computing and Department of Combinatorics & Optimization, University of Waterloo; Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics; Canadian Institute for Advanced Research
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Designing public key cryptosystems that resist attacks by quantum computers is an important area of current cryptographic research and standardization. To retain condentiality of today’s communications against future quantum computers, applications and protocols must begin exploring the use of quantum-resistant key exchange and encryption. In this paper, we explore post-quantum cryptography in general and key exchange specically. We review two protocols for quantum-resistant key exchange based on lattice problems: BCNS15, based on the ring learning with errors problem, and Frodo, based on the learning with errors problem. We discuss their security and performance characteristics, both on their own and in the context of the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol. We introduce the Open Quantum Safe project, an open-source software project for prototyping quantum-resistant cryptography, which includes liboqs, a C library of quantum-resistant algorithms, and our integrations of liboqs into popular open-source applications and protocols, including the widely used OpenSSL library.