Algorithmic Security is Insufficient: A Comprehensive Survey on Implementation Attacks Haunting Post-Quantum Security

Alvaro Cintas Canto, Jasmin Kaur, Mehran Mozaffari Kermani, Reza Azarderakhsh

This survey is on forward-looking, emerging security concerns in post-quantum era, i.e., the implementation attacks for 2022 winners of NIST post-quantum cryptography (PQC) competition and thus the visions, insights, and discussions can be used as a step forward towards scrutinizing the new standards for applications ranging from Metaverse, Web 3.0 to deeply-embedded systems. The rapid advances in quantum computing have brought immense opportunities for scientific discovery and technological progress; however, it poses a major risk to today's security since advanced quantum computers are believed to break all traditional public-key cryptographic algorithms. This has led to active research on PQC algorithms that are believed to be secure against classical and powerful quantum computers. However, algorithmic security is unfortunately insufficient, and many cryptographic algorithms are vulnerable to side-channel attacks (SCA), where an attacker passively or actively gets side-channel data to compromise the security properties that are assumed to be safe theoretically. In this survey, we explore such imminent threats and their countermeasures with respect to PQC. We provide the respective, latest advancements in PQC research, as well as assessments and providing visions on the different types of SCAs.

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