Status Report on the Third Round of the NIST Post-Quantum Cryptography Standardization Process

TitleStatus Report on the Third Round of the NIST Post-Quantum Cryptography Standardization Process
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsAlagic, G, Apon, D, Cooper, D, Dang, Q, Dang, T, Kelsey, J, Lichtinger, J, Miller, C, Moody, D, Peralta, R, Perlner, R, Robinson, A
Date Published7/2022

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is in the process of selecting publickey cryptographic algorithms through a public, competition-like process. The new publickey cryptography standards will specify additional digital signature, public-key encryption, and key-establishment algorithms to augment Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 186-4, Digital Signature Standard (DSS), as well as NIST Special Publication (SP) 800-56A Revision 3, Recommendation for Pair-Wise Key-Establishment Schemes Using Discrete Logarithm Cryptography, and SP 800-56B Revision 2, Recommendation for Pair-Wise Key Establishment Using Integer Factorization Cryptography. It is intended that these algorithms will be capable of protecting sensitive information well into the foreseeable future, including after the advent of quantum computers.

This report describes the evaluation and selection process of the NIST Post-Quantum Cryptography Standardization process third-round candidates based on public feedback and internal review. The report summarizes each of the 15 third-round candidate algorithms and identifies those selected for standardization, as well as those that will continue to be evaluated in a fourth round of analysis. The public-key encryption and key-establishment algorithm that will be standardized is CRYSTALS–KYBER. The digital signatures that will be standardized are CRYSTALS–Dilithium, FALCON, and SPHINCS+. While there are multiple signature algorithms selected, NIST recommends CRYSTALS–Dilithium as the primary algorithm to be implemented. In addition, four of the alternate key-establishment candidate algorithms will advance to a fourth round of evaluation: BIKE, Classic McEliece, HQC, and SIKE. These candidates are still being considered for future standardization. NIST will also issue a new Call for Proposals for public-key digital signature algorithms to augment and diversify its signature portfolio.