September 17-20, 2024 | DoubleTree by Hilton, San Jose, California

Reimagining the State: Hash-Based Signatures in Merkle Tree Ladder Mode (Q22c)

21 Sep 2023
14:30

Reimagining the State: Hash-Based Signatures in Merkle Tree Ladder Mode (Q22c)

State management has generally raised both operational and security concerns for cryptographic module implementations of hash-based signature schemes. The speaker will review the concerns and propose a counterexample: the combination of the SPHINCS+ post-quantum algorithm and Merkle Tree Ladder (MTL) mode of operation. While stateful, the combination can lower signature size impact in certain applications without introducing significant state management risk. The speaker will suggest that state within cryptographic modules can be an advantage for hash-based signature schemes and invite implementers to “reimagine the state.”