Three European companies have developed the first proof of concept for a more secure post-quantum passport.
Quantum computers could become a serious threat to the security of documents such as electronic passports before the end of this decade, says Infineon. It is showing a demonstrator this week developed with the German Federal Printing Office (Bundesdruckerei GmbH) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security (AISEC).
The core of the PoQuID demonstrator are the Dilithium and Kyber algorithms which were selected by the US national standardization institute NIST earlier this year, says Professor Marian Margraf at Fraunhofer AISEC. “Based on that, we developed protocols for the passport that were then subjected to a further independent security evaluation,” she said.
The demonstrator implements contactless data transfer between the ePass and the border checkpoint terminal. This is based on a quantum computer-resistant version of the Extended Access Control (EAC) protocol and also secures biometric data during authentication. This is implemented in Infineon’s Optica TPM SLB 9672 wireless module.
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“Today we are launching the encryption procedures which will be needed to repel quantum computer attacks of tomorrow,” said Maurizio Skerlj, Vice President and head of Infineon’s Identity Solution Product Line.
“Working with our collaboration partners at the German Federal Printing Office and Fraunhofer AISEC, we have succeeded in efficiently implementing quantum-resistant encryption procedures and making them available for use in practice.” The heart of the demonstrator is a security controller from Infineon which protects data from both conventional attacks and attacks that use quantum computers.
Dr Manfred Paeschke, Chief Visionary Officer at Bundesdruckerei GmbH, added: “Our solution shows how durable ID documents can be protected from attacks by quantum computers while at the same time compatibility with existing systems is preserved.”
Berlin-based Bundesdruckerei and its subsidiary Maurer Electronics hold more than 4,100 national and international patents and has a workforce of around 2,600 around the world.
The security methods tested in the project are compatible with established structures and can also implement quantum-resistant encryption.
The demonstrator is being shown at the Trustech exhibition in Paris this week.