Re: [CFRG] Pre-draft QSC Key Serialization and Identification

Michael StJohns <> Sat, 03 July 2021 17:29 UTC

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From: Michael StJohns <>
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Date: Sat, 03 Jul 2021 13:28:52 -0400
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Subject: Re: [CFRG] Pre-draft QSC Key Serialization and Identification
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Hi Christine -

As this isn't a crypto math document and is looking at at rest and 
on-the-wire formats for key material, AND your document language 
indicates a desire to progress through the IETF, it's probably better to 
throw this either at the LAMPS group (, 
or to secdispatch or SAAG rather than solely at cfrg.   It's probably 
useful to include cfrg as a CC though as this will be of interest to 
most of the crowd.

Also, if you're actually getting OID assignments, and selecting encoding 
formats, as opposed to republishing formats and assignments decided 
elsewhere, its probably more appropriate to advance this in the 
standards track vs Informational.

I'll take a deeper look at the document later.


On 7/3/2021 4:51 AM, Christine van Vredendaal wrote:
> Hello all,
> We (folks from NXP, IBM and Utimaco) have been working on a draft 
> specifying key serializations and OIDs for quantum-safe cryptography 
> to already start to prepare for the upcoming new public-key standard.
> We would like to share this with this community for feedback and 
> recommendations and also to see if CFRG is the right venue.
> At the moment this is a pre-draft in the sense that it is not in an 
> IETF format yet, but all the content is there.
> You can find the link to a comment-only Google Docs version here 
> <>.
> The abstract of the document is as follows:
> With the NIST standardization effort still in full swing, companies 
> implementing post-quantum cryptography now are running into multiple 
> issues, such as:
>  1. Difficulty in managing algorithm versions and the compatibility of
>     associated keys
>  2. Difficulty in interoperability testing
>  3. Difficulty in evaluating the impact of integrating algorithms with
>     higher level standards
> These difficulties result in delay of many follow-up activities for 
> algorithm integration and adoption.
> The document `Quantum Safe Key Identification and Serialization’ 
> specifies the key formats of selected quantum safe algorithms, to 
> hopefully resolve some of these interoperability issues.
> Additionally it should serve to make choices in future standard clear 
> and prevent delays in adaption.
> To this end the document contains parameter identifiers for the Round 
> 3 finalist parameter sets (specific OIDs in some cases to be added), 
> as well as key descriptions, byte sizes, and their ASN.1 formatting.
> Open items that we would consider still adding (opinions are welcome) 
> are the addition of CBOR formats, and the serialization of signatures 
> and ciphertexts.
> We also note that the current OIDs are not useable or filled in yet. 
> We are investigating adding temporary OIDs, and in the end permanent 
> OIDs should be assigned by NIST upon standardization of a set of 
> algorithms.
> *(Current) authors: *Dieter Bong (Utimaco), Joppe Bos (NXP), Silvio 
> Dragone (IBM), Basil Hess (IBM), Christopher Meyer (Utimaco), Mike 
> Osborne (IBM), Christine van Vredendaal (NXP), Karen Willbrand (Utimaco)
> Looking forward to your thoughts and suggestions,
> Cheers on behalf of the team,
> Christine
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