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ROUTE - Cryptography for the Post-Quantum Era

|   Call 2019

The project aims to provide an overview of the state of the art in post-quantum secure cryptography. The scheme will be classified on the basis of their security guarantees and practical aspects for their application for long-term secure data storage and communication.

Government agencies and institutions are being targeted more and more by large-scale cyber-attacks. During such attacks, the attackers might gain access to sensitive data. Yet, the public institutions are obliged by law to ensure the confidentiality of the data by coordinating recommendations for secure information systems. To protect data from such attacks, cryptographic schemes can be employed to ensure the data’s confidentiality, integrity and authenticity as long as the secret key material stays secret. However, the schemes used in practice today are threatened by quantum computers. Powerful quantum computers would be capable of breaking essentially all asymmetric cryptographic schemes (public-key encryption, key encapsulation, and digital signatures). Consequently, the security of long-term storage of confidential data (“data at rest”) ensured by using public-key encryption would be compromised. Similarly, protocols for securely transmitting data (“data in transit”) using key encapsulation methods to ensure confidentiality and digital signatures to ensure authenticity of data and the communicating parties would be compromised as well. 

To mitigate this attack scenario and to prepare for a switch to quantum-resistant cryptography, the project analyzes the state of the art of cryptographic schemes that are based on quantum-resistant problems – classified as post-quantum cryptography – which are not threatened by powerful quantum computers and will provide recommendations for the deployment of post-quantum secure schemes. Although first standardization efforts for post-quantum cryptography are being carried out and industry is integrating schemes in products for testing, it turns out that the selection of suitable schemes is more complicated. They are no longer suitable for all possible use-cases. Therefore, ROUTE will match the recommendations with the requirements of the usage scenarios data at rest in transit and their security properties. To achieve that, ROUTE evaluates the schemes based on the security analysis of the underlying hardness assumptions and of the concrete constructions, their efficiency which is being evaluated empirically, and quality and security of the available implementations. 

ProjektleiterIn / Name und Institut/Unternehmen 
Dr. Sebastian Ramacher
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH 

Auflistung der weiteren Projekt- bzw. KooperationspartnerInnen 
Bundeskanzleramt (BKA)
Bundesministerium für Inneres (BMI) 

Name / Institut oder Unternehmen 
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH 

Name des/der EinreicherIn und/oder ProjektleiterIn 
Dr. Sebastian Ramacher 

Giefinggasse 4, 1210 Wien 

+43 50550 4209 


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