[Resource Topic] 2023/1838: Quantifying risks in cryptographic selection processes

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Quantifying risks in cryptographic selection processes

Authors: Daniel J. Bernstein


There appears to be a widespread belief that some processes of selecting cryptosystems are less risky than other processes. As a case study of quantifying the difference in risks, this paper compares the currently-known-failure rates of three large groups of cryptosystems: (1) the round-1 submissions to the NIST Post-Quantum Cryptography Standardization Project, (2) the round-1 submissions not broken by the end of round 1, and (3) the round-1 submissions selected by NIST for round 2 of the same project. These groups of cryptosystems turn out to have currently-known-failure rates that are strikingly high, and that include statistically significant differences across the groups, not matching the pattern of differences that one might expect. Readers are cautioned that the actual failure rates could be much higher than the currently-known-failure rates.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2023/1838

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