[Resource Topic] 2023/556: Quantum-access Security of Hash-based Signature Schemes

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Quantum-access Security of Hash-based Signature Schemes

Authors: Quan Yuan, Mehdi Tibouchi, Masayuki Abe


In post-quantum cryptography, hash-based signature schemes are attractive choices because of the weak assumptions. Most existing hash-based signature schemes are proven secure against post-quantum chosen message attacks (CMAs), where the adversaries are able to execute quantum computations and classically query to the signing oracle. In some cases, the signing oracle is also considered quantum-accessible, meaning that the adversaries are able to send queries with superpositions to the signing oracle. Considering this, Boneh and Zhandry [BZ13] propose a stronger security notion called existential unforgeability under quantum chosen message attacks (EUF-qCMA). We call it quantum-access security (or Q2 security in some literature). The quantum-access security of practical signature schemes is lacking in research, especially of the hash-based ones. In this paper, we analyze the quantum-access security of hash-based signature schemes in two directions. First, we show concrete quantum chosen message attacks (or superposition attacks) on existing hash-based signature schemes, such as SPHINCS and SPHINCS+. The complexity of the attacks is obviously lower than that of optimal classical chosen message attacks, implying that quantum chosen message attacks are more threatening than classical ones to these schemes. Second, we propose a simple variant of SPHINCS+ and give security proof against quantum chosen message attacks. As far as we know, it is the first practical hash-based stateless signature scheme against quantum chosen message attacks with concrete provable security.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2023/556

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