International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research

IACR News item: 01 April 2024

Kyungbae Jang, Sejin Lim, Yujin Oh, Anubhab Baksi, Sumanta Chakraborty, Hwajeong Seo
ePrint Report ePrint Report
Quantum computers have the potential to solve hard problems that are nearly impossible to solve by classical computers, this has sparked a surge of research to apply quantum technology and algorithm against the cryptographic systems to evaluate for its quantum resistance. In the process of selecting post-quantum standards, NIST categorizes security levels based on the complexity that quantum computers would require to crack AES encryption (levels 1, 3, and 5) and SHA-2 or SHA-3 (levels 2 and 4).

In assessing the security strength of cryptographic algorithms against quantum threats, accurate predictions of quantum resources are crucial. Following the work of Jaques et al. in Eurocrypt 2020, NIST estimated security levels 1, 3, and 5, corresponding to quantum circuit size for finding the key for AES-128, AES-192, and AES-256, respectively. This work has been recently followed-up by Huang et al. (Asiacrypt'22) and Liu et al. (Asiacrypt'23). However, for levels 2 and 4, which relate to the collision finding for the SHA-2 and SHA-3 hash functions, quantum attack complexities are probably not well-studied.

In this paper, we present novel techniques for optimizing the quantum circuit implementations for SHA-2 and SHA-3 algorithms in all the categories specified by NIST. After that, we evaluate the quantum circuits of target cryptographic hash functions for quantum collision search. Finally, we define the optimal quantum attack complexity for levels 2 and 4, and comment on the security strength of the extended level. We present new concepts to optimize the quantum circuits at the component level and the architecture level.

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