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Symmetric Cryptography in the Post-Quantum World

Objective

As years go by, the existence of quantum computers becomes more tangible and the scientific community is already anticipating the enormous consequences of the induced breakthrough in computational power. Cryptology is one of the affected disciplines. Indeed, the current state-of-the-art asymmetric cryptography would become insecure, and we are actively searching for alternatives. Symmetric cryptography, essential for enabling secure communications, seems much less affected at first sight: its biggest known threat is Grover’s algorithm, which allows exhaustive key searches in the square root of the normal complexity. Thus, so far, it is believed that doubling key lengths suffices to maintain an equivalent security in the post-quantum world.
The security of symmetric cryptography is completely based on cryptanalysis: we only gain confidence in the security of a symmetric primitive through extensive and continuous scrutiny. It is therefore not possible to determine whether a symmetric primitive might be secure or not in a post-quantum world without first understanding how a quantum adversary could attack it. Correctly evaluating the security of symmetric primitives in the post-quantum world cannot be done without a corresponding cryptanalysis toolbox, which neither exists nor has ever been studied. This is the big gap I have identified and that I plan to fill with this project.
Next, doubling the key length is not a trivial task and needs to be carefully studied. My ultimate aim is to propose efficient solutions secure in the post-quantum world with the help of our previously obtained quantum symmetric cryptanalysis toolbox. This will help prevent the chaos that big quantum computers would generate: being ready in advance will definitely save a great amount of time and money, while protecting our current and future communications.
The main challenge of QUASYModo is to redesign symmetric cryptography for the post-quantum world.

Call for proposal

ERC-2016-STG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-STG - Starting Grant

Host institution

INSTITUT NATIONAL DE RECHERCHE EN INFORMATIQUE ET AUTOMATIQUE
Address
Domaine De Voluceau Rocquencourt
78153 Le Chesnay Cedex
France
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 1 330 463

Beneficiaries (1)

INSTITUT NATIONAL DE RECHERCHE EN INFORMATIQUE ET AUTOMATIQUE
France
EU contribution
€ 1 330 463
Address
Domaine De Voluceau Rocquencourt
78153 Le Chesnay Cedex
Activity type
Research Organisations