Paper 2021/1506

z-OTS: a one-time hash-based digital signaturescheme with fast verification

Amos Zheng and Marcos A. Simplicio Jr.


Hash-based signature schemes are a class of post-quantum algorithms usually built upon one-time signature (OTS) solutions via hash-trees. The benefits of such schemes include small key sizes, efficient processing and the fact that they are simple to implement using a regular hash algorithm. In addition, their security properties are quite well understood, since they rely basically on the pre-image or collision resistance of the underlying hash function. Among the existing OTS schemes, W-OTS+ is among the most popular. One reason for such popularity is that the OTS public key can be recovered from the signature itself, which facilitates the construction of a multi-time signature scheme using Merkle trees. On the other hand, signature generation and verification in W-OTS+ take roughly the same time, which is not ideal for applications where each signature is expected to be verified several times, as in software stores, PKI certificate validation, and secure boot. It is also inconvenient when the devices that verify signatures have lower computational power than the signers. In such scenarios, it is desirable to design signature schemes enabling faster verification, even if such speed-ups come at the expense of a slower signature generation procedure. With this goal in mind, we hereby present and evaluate a novel OTS scheme, called z-OTS. The main interest of z-OTS is that it preserves all benefits of W-OTS+, but provides faster signature verification at the cost of a (not much) slower signature generation procedure. For example, for signature sizes equivalent to W-OTS+ with Winternitz parameter w=4, our simulations show that verification can be 30.3% faster with z-OTS, while key and signature generation become, respectively, 53.7% and 137.5% slower. Larger w leads to even more expressive gains in the verification procedure, besides providing lower overheads when generating keys and signatures.

Available format(s)
Public-key cryptography
Publication info
Preprint. MINOR revision.
Post-quantum cryptographydigital signaturehash-based signaturesW-OTS+
Contact author(s)
azheng @ larc usp br
mjunior @ larc usp br
2021-11-15: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Amos Zheng and Marcos A.  Simplicio Jr.},
      title = {z-OTS: a one-time hash-based digital signaturescheme with fast verification},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2021/1506},
      year = {2021},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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