New post-quantum digital signature proposals: the second NIST competition


In July 2023, NIST announced four winning algorithms in the post-quantum competition, marking an important step forward in the transition process.

The selected algorithms were CRYSTALS-Kyber for key negotiation and CRYSTALS-Dilithium, Falcon and SPHINCS+ for digital signatures. All the selected schemes, with the exception of SPHINCS+, base their security on mathematical problems related to structured lattices.

With the aim of differentiating the security assumptions underlying the standardized schemes, NIST announced in September 2022 that the process would continue for a fourth round. Schemes that were deemed eligible for additional evaluation were only part of the key negotiation category.

Therefore, NIST deemed it appropriate to start a new standardization process focused on the selection of digital signatures. The new competition officially began in June 2023, with NIST’s preliminary selection of 40 proposals.


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The author

Edoardo Signorini, a graduate in Mathematics with a curriculum in cryptography from the University of Trento, did his Master’s Thesis in Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC) at Telsy in 2020. He is currently a cryptographer within the research group at Telsy and holds an Industrial PhD in Pure and Applied Mathematics at the Polytechnic University of Turin. His work focuses on research in PQC and the analysis and development of cryptographic protocols.