Paper 2019/1374

Challenges of Post-Quantum Digital Signing in Real-world Applications: A Survey

Teik Guan Tan, Pawel Szalachowski, and Jianying Zhou


Public key cryptography is threatened by the advent of quantum computers. Using Shor's algorithm on a large-enough quantum computer, an attacker can cryptanalyze any RSA/ECC public key, and generate fake digital signatures in seconds. If this vulnerability is left unaddressed, digital communications and electronic transactions can potentially be without the assurance of authenticity and non-repudiation. In this paper, we study the use of digital signatures in 14 real-world applications across the financial, critical infrastructure, Internet, and enterprise sectors. Besides understanding the digital signing usage, we compare the applications' signing requirements against all 6 NIST's post-quantum cryptography contest round 3 candidate algorithms. This is done through a proposed framework where we map out the suitability of each algorithm against the applications' requirements in a feasibility matrix. Using the matrix, we identify improvements needed for all 14 applications to have a feasible post-quantum secure replacement digital signing algorithm.

Available format(s)
Public-key cryptography
Publication info
Published elsewhere. MINOR revision.International Journal of Information Security, Springer
digital signaturespost quantum cryptography
Contact author(s)
teikguan_tan @ mymail sutd edu sg
pjszal @ gmail com
jianying_zhou @ sutd edu sg
2022-03-14: last of 4 revisions
2019-12-01: received
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Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Teik Guan Tan and Pawel Szalachowski and Jianying Zhou},
      title = {Challenges of Post-Quantum Digital Signing in Real-world Applications: A Survey},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2019/1374},
      year = {2019},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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