01. – 06. Oktober 2017, Dagstuhl-Seminar 17401

Quantum Cryptanalysis


Michele Mosca (University of Waterloo, CA)
Nicolas Sendrier (INRIA – Paris, FR)
Rainer Steinwandt (Florida Atlantic University – Boca Raton, US)
Krysta Svore (Microsoft Corporation – Redmond, US)

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Motivation and scope

Like its predecessors, this fourth installment of a Dagstuhl seminar on Quantum Cryptanalysis was devoted to studying cryptographic solutions that might be suitable for standardization in the post-quantum setting and to studying quantum attacks against currently deployed cryptographic solutions. Two main thrusts were of particular interest:

Algorithmic innovation. Quantum resources can be used in various way for attacking cryptographic solutions, and the seminar included multiple presentations on exploiting quantum resources for cryptanalytic purposes. Both attacks on symmetric and asymmetric primitives were considered, and there were lively discussions on the feasibility of mounting particular types of attacks. Complementing the presentations on quantum attacks, the program included presentations on advanced classical algorithms, raising the question of identifying possibilities to speed up such classical attack venues through quantum "subroutines."

Quantum resource estimation. It goes without saying that asymptotic improvements are of great interest when trying to tackle computational problems underpinning the security of cryptographic constructions. However, when looking at an actually deployed scheme, quantifying the exact resources (such as the number of qubits) needed by an attacker is relevant to judge the practical impact of a proposed attack strategy. The seminar included presentations on the estimation of resources for attacking some prominent cryptographic schemes.

As expected from a seminar with this title, many talks were indeed devoted to cryptanalysis, but the program also included presentations on establishing provable security guarantees in a post-quantum scenario. With the field becoming more mature, we did not schedule much time for survey talks. However, we did include a presentation on the emph{status of the development of quantum computers} in the program, thereby helping to get a better idea of potential obstacles when trying to implement quantum cryptanalytic attacks.


This was the fourth Dagstuhl seminar devoted entirely to quantum cryptanalysis, and as in the prior editions the set of participants included both experts in quantum algorithms and experts in classical cryptography. Some of the participants had already participated in earlier editions of this seminar series, but a number of colleagues attended such a seminar - or any Dagstuhl event - for the first time. In total, we had 42 participants from academia, government, and industry. This time we also included an open problem session in the program, which will hopefully help to stimulate further work in this vibrant research area. In the schedule we tried to leave sufficient time for discussions and for collaborative work in smaller groups. In line with the Dagstuhl tradition, no presentations were scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, and the seminar participants could devote the afternoon to a hike, an excursion, or to their research.

Results and next steps

Over the course of the years, communication and collaboration between the classical cryptographic and the quantum algorithmic research communities has intensified, and many colleagues cross traditional discipline boundaries. As evidenced in the seminar, available quantum cryptanalytic results can go well beyond asymptotic statements and include rather fine-grained resource counts. The seminar covered the analysis of both symmetric and asymmetric primitives, and ongoing efforts toward standardizing quantum-safe cryptographic solutions are likely to stimulate more progress, in particular on the quantum cryptanalysis of asymmetric cryptographic primitives.

Summary text license
  Creative Commons BY 3.0 Unported license
  Michele Mosca, Nicolas Sendrier, Rainer Steinwandt, and Krysta Svore

Dagstuhl-Seminar Series


  • Data Structures / Algorithms / Complexity
  • Security / Cryptology


  • Quantum computing
  • Post-quantum cryptography
  • Computational algebra
  • Quantum circuit complexity
  • Quantum hardware and resource estimation


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