New QuaSiModO Research Project Launched

Soon quantum computers will be expected to solve highly complex computing tasks extremely quickly. They therefore already pose a threat to the current encryption algorithms.

In the QuaSiModO (Quantum-Safe VPN Modules and Operation Modes) research project, new quantum-resistant algorithms are being investigated, tested and implemented in VPN standards and VPN implementations. genua is the project coordinator and is represented in the project by Stefan-Lukas Gazdag. In the interview below, the cryptography expert answers questions about the research content.

genua recognized the importance of the topic of "Consequences of the quantum computer for IT security" early on. How come?

Stefan-Lukas Gazdag: As a provider of solutions for IT high security, we closely follow all new developments in network technology and network security. We first came across the term "post-quantum cryptography" around ten years ago, and immediately began preparing for the threat of large quantum computers. The first step was the squareUP research project in which we brought quantum-resistant signatures for software updates to practical maturity.

Can QuaSiModO build on the squareUP research project? What are the differences between them?

Stefan-Lukas Gazdag: squareUP gave us important insights into the practical use of quantum-resistant methods, but with a focus on digital signatures and the application of software updates. QuaSiModO is about securing the communication protocols with suitable key exchange procedures. This is much more complex, and an exchange with a quantum-resistant alternative is correspondingly difficult.

"The QuaSiModO research project is paving the way for the practical use of quantum-resistant encryption."

Various research partners are involved in QuaSiModO. What form does the cooperation actually take?

Stefan-Lukas Gazdag: With ADVA and genua, two specialists for secure communication are working on similar but nevertheless different problems on different network levels. The Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich is supporting both partners organizationally and with regard to various aspects such as the evaluation of cryptographic procedures or security proofs. Fraunhofer AISEC is playing devil's advocate in this consortium, i.e. it is critically examining the results for possible avenues of attacks.

What are the research objectives by the end of the project in 2022?

Stefan-Lukas Gazdag: In particular, the project is intended to help extend existing protocols. We want to examine possible solutions in detail and thus support the standardization committees with analyses and proposals in their decision-making. Important aspects are the practicability of the solutions and security in practice.

Thank you for your time.

The QuaSiModO project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.