[CFRG] Pre-draft QSC Key Serialization and Identification

Christine van Vredendaal <cvvrede@gmail.com> Sat, 03 July 2021 08:52 UTC

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From: Christine van Vredendaal <cvvrede@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 3 Jul 2021 10:51:51 +0200
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Subject: [CFRG] Pre-draft QSC Key Serialization and Identification
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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

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,