Quantum-Safe Key Exchange - Examples in Python

In this example we shall demonstrate the how to use the NewHope key exchange protocol, which is a quantum-safe lattice-based key-exchange algorithm, designed to provide at least 128-bit post-quantum security level. The underlying math is based on the Ring-Learning-with-Errors (Ring-LWE) problem and operates in a ring of integer polynomials by certain modulo. The key-exchange operates like this:

  1. Alice generates a random private key and corresponding public message (public key) and sends the message to Bob. The public message consists of 1024 polynomial coefficients (integers in the range [0...61443]) + random seed (32 bytes).
  2. Bob takes the message from Alice (polynomial + seed) and calculates from it the shared secret key between Alice and Bob. Bob also generates internally a private key and uses it to calculate and sends a public message to Alice. This public message consists of 2 polynomials, each represented by 1024 integer coefficients.
  3. Alice takes the message from Bob (the 2 polynomials) and calculates from it the shared secret key between Alice and Bob (using her private key). The calculated shared key consists of 32 bytes (256 bits), perfect for symmetric key encryption.

To illustrate the NewHope key exchange algorithm, we shall use the PyNewHope package from the Python's official PyPI repository (which is designed for educational purposes and is not certified for production use):

pip install pynewhope

The code to demonstrate the quantum-safe key-exchange "NewHope" is simple:

from pynewhope import newhope

# Step 1: Alice generates random keys and her public msg to Bob
alicePrivKey, aliceMsg = newhope.keygen()
print("Alice sends to Bob her public message:", aliceMsg)

# Step 2: Bob receives the msg from Alice and responds to Alice with a msg
bobSharedKey, bobMsg = newhope.sharedB(aliceMsg)
print("\nBob's sends to Alice his public message:", bobMsg)
print("\nBob's shared key:", bobSharedKey)

# Step 3: Alice receives the msg from Bob and generates her shared secret
aliceSharedKey = newhope.sharedA(bobMsg, alicePrivKey)
print("\nAlice's shared key:", aliceSharedKey)

if aliceSharedKey == bobSharedKey:
    print("\nSuccessful key exchange! Keys match.")
else:
    print("\nError! Keys do not match.")

Alice generates a private key + public message and sends her public message to Bob, then Bob calculates his copy of the shared secret key from Alice's message and generates a public message for Alice, and finally Alice calculates her copy of the shared secret key from her private key together with Bob's message.

The output from the above code looks like this (the 1024 polynomial coefficients are given in abbreviated form):

Alice sends to Bob her public message: ([12663, 7323, 8979, 7763, 11139, 5460, 7337, 12182, ..., 8214, 10808, 8987], b'*[\x98t\xae\xe9\xc5H\xfc\xc2\x9b$\xd6\xaa[8k\xc1\x8d\xad\x1d\x01\x87i\xed\x03\x06\xe1k2\xa7N')

Bob's sends to Alice his public message: ([2, 1, 1, 2, 0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 3, 3, 2, 1, 1, 3, 0, ..., 0, 0, 3], [7045, 4326, 6186, 8298, 12738, ..., 7730, 10577, 8046])

Bob's shared key: [228, 159, 146, 8, 56, 146, 50, 7, 59, 87, 113, 57, 151, 137, 240, 139, 215, 33, 71, 188, 108, 239, 231, 252, 230, 77, 181, 178, 176, 7, 219, 217]

Alice's shared key: [228, 159, 146, 8, 56, 146, 50, 7, 59, 87, 113, 57, 151, 137, 240, 139, 215, 33, 71, 188, 108, 239, 231, 252, 230, 77, 181, 178, 176, 7, 219, 217]

Successful key exchange! Keys match.

It is visible that the calculated secret shared key is the same 32-byte sequence for Alice and Bob and thus the key exchange algorithm works correctly. The above demonstrated HewHope key exchange algorithm works quite fast and provides a 128 bits of post-quantum security.

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