QSOR: Quantum-safe Onion Routing

Zsolt Tujner, Thomas Rooijakkers, Maran van Heesch, Melek Önen

Abstract

We propose a study on the use of post-quantum cryptographic primitives for the Tor network in order to make it safe in a quantum world. With this aim, the underlying keying material has first been analysed. We observe that breaking the security of the algorithms/protocols that use long- and medium-term keys (usually RSA keys) have the highest impact in security. Therefore, we investigate the cost of quantum-safe variants. Six different post-quantum cryptographic algorithms that ensure level 1 NIST security are evaluated. We further target the Tor circuit creation operation and evaluate the overhead of the post-quantum variant. This comparative study is performed through a reference implementation based on SweetOnions that simulates Tor with slight simplifications. We show that a quantum-safe Tor circuit creation is possible and suggest two versions - one that can be used in a purely quantum-safe setting, and one that can be used in a hybrid setting.

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