[Resource Topic] 2023/1437: KpqBench: Performance and Implementation Security Analysis of KpqC Competition Round 1 Candidates

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KpqBench: Performance and Implementation Security Analysis of KpqC Competition Round 1 Candidates

Authors: YongRyeol Choi, MinGi Kim, YoungBeom Kim, JinGyo Song, JaeHwan Jin, HeeSeok Kim, Seong Chung Seo


As the global migration to post-quantum cryptography (PQC) continues to progress actively, in Korea, the Post-Quantum Cryptography Research Center has been established to acquire PQC technology, leading the KpqC Competition. In February 2022, the KpqC Competition issued a call for proposals for PQC algorithms. By November 2022, a total of 16 candidates were selected for the first round (7 KEMs and 9 DSAs). Currently, round 1 submissions are being evaluated with respect to security, efficiency, and scalability in various environments. At the current stage, evaluating the software through an analysis to improve the software quality of the first-round submissions is judged appropriately. In this paper, we present analysis results regarding performance and implementation security on based dependency-free approach of external libraries. Namely, we configure extensive tests for an analysis with no dependencies by replacing external libraries that can complicate the build process with hard coding. From the performance perspective, we provide analysis results of performance profiling, execution time, and memory usage for each of KpqC candidates. From the implementation security perspective, we examine bugs and errors in the actual implementations using Valgrind software, metamorphic testing methodology that can include wide test coverage and constant-time implementation against the timing attack. As a result, we found implementation bugs and errors in two submissions, metamorphic testing errors in one submission, and non-constant-time implementation in one submission. Until the KpqC standard algorithm is announced, we argue that continuous integration of extensive tests will lead to higher-level software quality of KpqC candidates.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2023/1437

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