Quantum computing has moved from theory in the 80’s to reality with MIT and commercial entities including IBM, Microsoft, and Google all delivering elementary quantum computer platforms over the last several years. When large-enough quantum computers are built, known algorithms will weaken or break most of the public-key methods now in use. Although it is not known when a “large-enough” quantum computer will exist, many major financial and infrastructure systems need many years to implement new security methods, so in many cases, they need to address the quantum computing threat now.
The NIST Project
With this threat in mind, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has initiated a project to identify, evaluate and standardize one or more quantum-resistant public-key methods.
The NIST Post-Quantum Cryptography Standardization Project was launched on December 20, 2016, with a call for submissions (closed November 30, 2017) in three categories of public-key methods, digital signature algorithms, public-key encryption, and key-establishment algorithms. With one or two planned workshops, the analysis phase is expected to run for up to five years followed by two years of standards drafting.
NIST held the First PQC Standardization Conference in April 2018 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. WalnutDSATM was presented on Wednesday, April 11.
SecureRF and the NIST Post-Quantum Project
In response to NIST’s call for solutions, SecureRF has submitted WalnutDSA, a group-theoretic digital signature method. Our method combines infinite groups, matrices, permutations, and arithmetic over finite fields to provide a secure signature scheme which is extremely fast to verify even in small processing environments. A general description of WalnutDSA, and our other quantum-resistant methods can be seen on our Solutions page.
This NIST Community Analysis page provides a summary status of WalnutDSA throughout the course of the NIST evaluation, including current analysis and comments from the NIST community and our responses.