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Thesis Post-Quantum Cryptography – operational services GmbH & Co. KG

Quantum computers pose a risk for today’s IT infrastructure. Common elliptic curves are broken with a computing power of 1,500 qubits. Widely used algorithms like RSA-1024 are broken with about 2,048 qubits. Current Quantum Computer use up to 72 qubit (Google) and scalability is still a major issue.

Even though large scale quantum computers might need another 10-20 years of development, there are use cases that require immediate action. This is especially true for devices with long lifetime (e.g. refrigerators, vehicles) or information with long-time secrecy. Devices need to be patched and updated regularly. Security mechanisms for remote software updates are mostly based on RSA or elliptic curves and thus not designed for a lifetime of 10-20 years.

This master thesis addresses the implementation of algorithms that are secure against quantum computers, so-called post-quantum algorithms. One such example is the “eXtended Merkle Signature Scheme“(XMSS). The student should understand the algorithm and explain its functionality. Existing source code (C or JAVA) should be used to implement and test such an algorithm for remote software updates in cooperation with an industry partner. Results could be benchmarks as well as code optimizations.

The student will be supported by operational services GmbH & Co. KG as well as an implementation partner from industry. Local contact in Nuremberg will be Dr. Thomae, who did his PhD in the area of post-quantum security. Contact and requests can be directed to: cryptoteam@o-s.de

The following talk gives some motivation of the overall topic: Link