Internet-Draft HBS: State and Backup February 2024
Wiggers, et al. Expires 22 August 2024 [Page]
Network Working Group
Intended Status:
T. Wiggers
K. Bashiri
S. Kölbl
J. Goodman
Crypto4A Technologies
S. Kousidis

Hash-based Signatures: State and Backup Management


Stateful Hash-Based Signature Schemes (S-HBS) such as LMS, HSS, XMSS and XMSSMT combine Merkle trees with One-Time Signatures (OTS) to provide signatures that are resistant against attacks using large-scale quantum computers. Unlike conventional stateless digital signature schemes, S-HBS have a state to keep track of which OTS keys have been used, as double-signing with the same OTS key allows forgeries.

This document provides guidance and documents security considerations for the operational and technical aspects of deploying systems that rely on S-HBS. Management of the state of the S-HBS, including any handling of redundant key material, is a sensitive topic, and we discuss some approaches to handle the associated challenges. We also describe the challenges that need to be resolved before certain approaches should be considered.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction

Stateful Hash-Based Signature Schemes (S-HBS) such as LMS, HSS, XMSS and XMSSMT combine Merkle trees with One-Time Signatures (OTS) in order to provide digital signature schemes that remain secure even when large-scale quantum computers become available. Their theoretic security is well understood and depends only on the security of the underlying hash function. As such, they can serve as an important building block for quantum-resistant information and communication technology. S-HBS are specified in [RFC8391], [RFC8554], and NIST [SP-800-208].

The private key of an S-HBS is a finite collection of OTS keys and an associated data structure which keeps track of which OTS keys have been used. This data structure is typically a simple counter and often called an index; we refer to it as the state of the private key. Each S-HBS private key can be used to sign a finite number of messages, and the state must be updated with each generated signature.

One must not reuse any OTS key that is part of an S-HBS private key. If an attacker is able to obtain signatures for two different messages created using the same OTS key, it is computationally feasible for that attacker to create forgeries [BH16]. As noted in [MCGREW] and [ETSI-TR-103-692], extreme care should be taken in order to avoid the risk that an OTS key will be reused accidentally.

The statefulness of S-HBS leads to significant challenges in practice:

These issues lead to new requirements that most developers will not be familiar with and that require careful handling in practice. Due to these challenges, most applications should use stateless alternatives like SLH-DSA [FIPS205] instead. However, if performance, signature or key sizes of stateless alternatives are prohibitive, and the specific use case allows a very tight control of the signing environment, using S-HBS may be an appropriate solution. It seems likely that in many scenarios, this will only be possible when using purpose-designed hardware, such as hardware-security modules.

The purpose of this document is to present, recall, and discuss various strategies for a correct state and backup management for S-HBS.

2. Conventions and Definitions

The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "NOT RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in BCP 14 [RFC2119] [RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all capitals, as shown here.

2.1. Specific terminology in the context of S-HBS

In this subsection we specify certain notions which are important in the context of S-HBS.

2.1.1. State management

In this document state management refers to the handling and implementation of the state of the private key.

This includes mechanisms, which aim:

  • to securely update the state after each signature,

  • to set up S-HBS with a split state and/or private key, so that signatures can be generated from either part without risk of state reuse,

  • to enable effective but secure handling of private key and state backup material,

  • to guarantee the availability of both the private key and its state across the lifetime of the key.

Note that in particular implementations of S-HBS, or in alternative signature mechanisms such as, e.g., puncturable schemes [BSW16], the state and private key might be inseparable. However, even in these scenarios, this document's guidance should still apply.

2.1.2. Backup management

In order to mitigate failure of, e.g., devices storing key material and to facilitate other types of disaster recovery, backups of private keys and their associated states SHOULD be considered as part of a security architecture.

In this document, backup management refers to all mechanisms surrounding the goal to guarantee the availability of the private key and state, but with special care to avoid state reuse by rolling back to a state in which already-used OTS keys are still available.

These mechanisms include procedures and protocols, which aim:

  • to securely store this private key and state material outside the in-use signing device,

  • to import an externally stored private key and state to a newly initiated signing device,

  • allow practicing with backup recovery and to ensure backups are valid.

Backup management can be viewed as a more specific type of state management; we make this distinction to clarify the aims of our recommendations.

2.1.3. Key export, key import and key transfer

As part of state and backup management, we will discuss mechanisms to export, import or transfer private key and state material. In order to avoid misunderstandings we now specify these notions more precisely.

key export

mechanism of exporting secret data, which yields (partial) private key and state material, from the signing device to external storage. This external storage may be given in digital or non-digital form.

key import

mechanism of importing secret data, which loads (partial) private key and state material, from external storage to the signing device.

key transfer

direct and cryptographically protected migration of private key and state material from one signing device to another signing device.

Systems and architectures relying on key transfer are generally expected to require fewer operational and manually-executed steps and checks to avoid state reuse.

Note that, at times, secure variants of the aforementioned primitives may be required (e.g., securely importing/exporting the key). In these situations cryptographic mechanisms SHOULD be utilized to provide assurances related to the confidentiality (e.g., utilizing symmetric/asymmetric encryption mechanisms) and/or integrity/authenticity (e.g., utilizing digital signatures, hash functions, and keyed message authentication codes) of the associated operations.

3. Operational Considerations

An important aspect of the evaluation of various hash-based signature state and backup management options is to consider the operational costs associated with the option(s) being evaluated. In the past, a traditional trust infrastructure solution could utilize straightforward archival procedures to make copies of the keys, which could then be distributed geographically to ensure their availability and deliver a sufficiently resilient solution, all the while enforcing whatever security protocols and procedures were required. Unfortunately, stateful hash-based signatures introduce an additional constraint in that they need to ensure the state is never re-used. Hence, archival procedures used for traditional trust infrastructures MUST be amended/redesigned to be used as viable options.

One of the most problematic aspects of providing a long-lived resilient solution is simply managing the physical media on which the keys/state are stored externally (i.e., outside of the signing device) throughout the course of their lifetime. Physical media/devices degrade over time, and the more complex the media/device, the more likely it is to fail at some point in time (e.g., data stored on a CD vs. data stored on a USB drive vs. data stored in a Hardware Security Module). Combine that fact with the long lifetimes associated with stateful hash-based signature keys (e.g., 10-20+ years) and the difficulties associated with transferring keys between devices, and one finds them self with a perplexing set of challenges that needs to be accounted for in any state selection process of a proper state and backup management solution. Compounding these complexities is the fact any resilient state management system SHOULD also provide some means to verify the integrity of these long lived backups to ensure they will be valid when they are required, and to ensure the operators know how to execute the necessary recovery procedure(s).

Similarly, many of the prescribed state management options require a high degree of human involvement which means one SHOULD consider the costs associated with training the human element to ensure processes and procedures are adhered to and failures caught early and corrected before a catastrophic loss of security can occur (e.g., accidentally instantiating multiple instances of a stateful hash-based signature key/state). Note that training is not a fixed one-time cost either as long lifetimes will necessitate succession planning amongst the human element, and training of each successive generation of participants. Mechanisms also SHOULD be put in place to mitigate the ever-present insider threat via mechanisms such as M-of-N controls, ensuring least-privileges amongst participants, and enforcing a segregation of duties to ensure multiple parties are required to collude to undermine a solution's security. Note that the segregation of duties MUST persist across successive generations to ensure participants do not acquire multiple roles over time, thereby undermining the intended segregation.

Lastly, costs associated with any external dependencies required by a particular solution (e.g., access to a public ledger or transparency log, providing accurate time references and synchronization mechanisms, access to attestation facilities, etc.) MUST be accounted for as well, particularly if a system is operating in an offline mode that makes delivering these additional capabilities all the more complicated and expensive.

4. Requirements for secure state management

A system deploying S-HBS SHOULD fulfill certain requirements to allow securely handling the state. The system MUST ensure that no two signing operations can ever be issued from the same state. In addition, the generation of a signature and update of the state SHOULD appear to be an atomic transaction. This means that the system MUST NOT release a signature without irrevocably and correctly updating the state.

These requirements impose significant restrictions on the underlying technical approach and a careful implementation of how the state will be updated or synchronized. The abstraction layers of modern systems can make it particularly difficult to guarantee that no two versions of the same state are present. The main concerns here are

A system may have a version of the private key stored in non-volatile memory (e.g. a disk) and will load it into volatile memory (e.g. RAM) while processing. Here, an implementer MUST ensure that these are always perfectly synchronized [MCGREW]. This can be particularly challenging if there are additional abstraction layers present in the system, like additional caches which may affect reading/writing the state and its potential existence in multiple locations.

Cloning is another concern, as it can easily lead to re-using the same state. This can happen for instance if a process which issues a signing operation is forked, and no proper synchronization is enforced in the implementation to guarantee correct state update. Virtual machine (VM) cloning is another potential security risk here, as both backing up a VM into non-volatile memory or live cloning of a VM can easily lead to a state re-use [MCGREW]. With users shifting workloads to cloud service providers, the issue of VM cloning may become more prevalent.

Using dedicated cryptographic hardware is RECOMMENDED to enforce these requirements, ensure correct behavior and handle the complexity of state management. In particular, this enables implementing rollback resistant counters which can be difficult to achieve in a software-only fashion.

On the verifier side, no state management is required. However, the verifier needs to trust the signer to not have re-used the state. A verifier MAY want to check that no state re-use happened in the past by a signer, before accepting a signature.

In practice, this can be done if the verifier has access to all signatures issued by the signer. As the signatures contain the index of the OTS key used, detecting if an index was used more than once becomes trivial. In practice, such a (public) data structure which contains all signatures MAY already be present in some use cases (e.g. certificate transparency [RFC9162]) or could be built. It is worth noting that while trusting the signer to not re-use the state is a strong assumption, other signature schemes like ECDSA introduce similar assumptions for the verifier, by requiring the signer to never re-use the nonce.

5. Potential Solutions

A variety of potential solutions have been proposed both within the [SP-800-208] specification, as well as from external sources. This section describes a number of approaches and their potential advantages/disadvantages.

5.1. Multiple Public Keys (SP-800-208)

The [SP-800-208] proposes generating multiple S-HBS keypairs and configuring devices and clients to accept signatures created by any of these keys.

This negatively impacts one of the advantages of using S-HBS by increasing the public key footprint within the client, which can be problematic if it has limited public key storage capacity. [SP-800-208] addresses this concern by suggesting using a mechanism such as that proposed in [RFC8649] to update the stored public key by having the current key endorse the next key that is to be installed. Unfortunately, for many constrained devices the public key is embedded in immutable ROM or fuses due to security reasons, so it cannot be updated in this manner.

The proposal of using multiple S-HBS keypairs for a single instance also generates questions as to how to establish that approach in existing public key infrastructures. For example, issueing multiple certificates adds the storage needs of the certificate material to the public key footprint. In order to alternatively issue multiple public keys encoded inside a single certificate one would need a standardized format if interoperability is a concern.

5.2. Distributed Multi-trees (SP-800-208)

The [SP-800-208] also proposes creating multiple S-HBS keys across multiple cryptographic modules using a distributed multi-tree approach that is a variant of the standard hyper-tree based S-HBS schemes HSS and XMSSMT. In this approach trees are instantiated on a root device (HSMroot), as well as one or more subordinate devices (HSMsub[i]), and the root tree is used to sign the root nodes of the subordinate trees to synthesize a multi-level S-HBS key. The root device is only ever used to sign subordinate device root nodes, while the subordinate device(s) is(are) used to sign messages. This is relatively straightforward to do using HSS, and [SP-800-208] describes the necessary algorithmic modifications when using XMSSMT.

One drawback of this approach is the increased signature size as an additional OTS needs to be generated, effectively doubling the overall signature size. Another concern is the single point of failure nature of relying on the root tree module to sign all of the subordinate trees; if the root tree device fails then no new subordinate trees can be signed. [SP-800-208] suggested that as many subordinate trees as possible be generated during the initial root key generation and subordinate-signing procedure. Unfortunately, this can incur a large capital expenditure to procure all of the necessary devices, many of which may not be used for a long period of time, if at all. The subordinate tree root node signing process MUST also be carefully managed to ensure top level trees are only ever used to sign the root nodes of trusted/approved subordinate trees to ensure that no malicious signing request is accepted, which would effectively give a rogue entity the ability to generate valid signatures, thereby undermining the security of the entire system.

The [SP-800-208] also suggests combining distributed multi-trees with multiple root public keys as a means to mitigate some of the concerns regarding having a single point of failure in the root tree. However, even if a system operator does everything right, use cases with exceptionally long lifetimes of 10-20+ years (e.g., automotive and aerospace/satellite applications) will require system operators to rely on devices well beyond their expected lifetimes of 5-10 years, which may constitute an unacceptable business risk.

5.3. Sectorization

Distributed multi-trees attempt to partition a S-HBS signing space amongst multiple cryptographic modules by breaking up the signing space along the boundaries of the subordinate trees generated during the multi-tree key generation process. An alternative approach would be to use only a single tree, and partition its signature space along some power-of-2 less than the total number of leaves in the tree (e.g., 2s for a tree of height h > s), creating N = 2h-s partitions or sectors, which are instantiated as N height-s Merkle trees whose root nodes are considered interior nodes of the overall height-h Merkle tree. Hence, there is no additional OTS required to sign their root nodes; their values are used as-is in the underlying S-HBS scheme's tree ascent mechanism, yielding a common public key (i.e., root node) for all sectors. Care MUST be taken to ensure that each sector uses the same root tree identifier (i.e., the "I" value for HSS/LMS and "root" value for XMSS/XMSSMT).

Each of the N sectors can be generated with a unique seed value to cryptographically isolate the sectors from each other, though this REQUIRES that the path information for each sector's root node (i.e., all off-path nodes between the sector root node and the top level node value) be stored with each sector's private key at key generation time since a sector will not know the seed information required to compute any of the other sectors' root nodes during the tree ascent phase of a signature generation operation. During signature generation the signer appends the stored path information to the path information it computes to ascend from the leaf OTS to the sector's root node (which it can compute given that it knows its own seed value).

Hence, sectorized key generation results in a single public key value and 2h-s private key values, each capable of generating 2s signatures, after which the sectorized key is exhausted.

In addition to avoiding an increased signature size; when unique seeds are utilized sectorization breaks a given S-HBS key/state into multiple independent fragments that can be managed as independent objects. As a result, system operators MAY distribute sectors to multiple cryptographic devices, allowing for performance scaling, and resiliency/availability, while only requiring them to manage the uniqueness of each sector instead of having to co-ordinate state usage between devices since in this scenario a sector cannot generate signatures from another sector's signature space.

5.4. Key/State Transfer

S-HBS key/state transfer between cryptographic modules entails having a means to migrate one instance of a S-HBS key/state on a source device to a separate destination device, while ensuring that any copy of the key/state is deleted from the source device.

This capability may help alleviate the aforementioned concern regarding operating devices beyond their expected lifetimes by allowing operators to migrate S-HBS key/state to a newer device when the original device begins to approach its end-of-life. However, it still leaves the operator vulnerable to having the source device fail before the key/state can be transferred, effectively causing the loss of the key/state. Hence, it will not be of much help addressing the single point of failure issue identified for root trees, but may be useful for managing subordinate trees.

A more elaborate variant of key transfer, going beyond what [SP-800-208] allows, can be found described in Section 6 where key transfer is accomplished using a two-step export and import process with hash-based transfer validation to yield a more robust transfer mechanism.

5.5. Key Rotation

Key rotation, such as that defined in [RFC8649], would generate new S-HBS keys on an as-needed basis, and provide a means to transition the system on to using this new S-HBS key, while generating the next key in the chain in preparation of a future rotation/update. However, this just shifts the problem to the PKI and certificate handling.

Key rotation is not foolproof since in most use cases it will require redundancy to ensure there is at least one S-HBS signing key available to attest to newly generated keys. In addition, for many applications the device keys cannot be updated due to engineering constraints or security reasons.

5.6. Variable-length Signature Chains

A variant of the key rotation approach is to simply have an available signing tree endorse a new subordinate tree when it is about to become exhausted (e.g., use its final OTS to sign the root node of a new subordinate tree, creating a {n+1}-layer multi-tree from a {n}-layer multi-tree). This process can in theory be repeated as many times as necessary. However, this entails having a multi-tree scheme with a variable number of levels, and hence, variable length signatures.

In addition to departing quite significantly from the current S-HBS specifications and [SP-800-208], this approach has a number of significant challenges on both the engineering and operational fronts. Firstly, the variable length nature of the signature can lead to variable length verification of signatures, which may cause significant issues for use cases with strict time constraints (e.g., secure booting of a semiconductor device). From an operational perspective, the ability of a subordinate tree to sign either messages or new subordinate trees leads to severe security implications as the rigor around authorizing those two types of operations will vary dramatically, leading to either a much more onerous message signing operation, or a much more risky subordinate tree signing operation. This may put the system operator in an untenable situation where no users are satisfied with the resulting solution, and hence, SHOULD NOT be considered as a viable solution.

5.7. Pre-assigning States

In some applications, individual one-time signatures (or states) can be pre-assigned to the to-be-signed objects. This may for example be possible if the signed objects are monotonically increasingly numbered. One example of such a use case may be software signing. This solution basically externalizes the state management to the to-be signed messages.

Expanding on the given example, for software that is released with strictly increasing, simple single-position version numbers (i.e., versions 1, 2, 3...), this can be trivially implemented. As versions have a one-to-one correspondence to an S-HBS signing state, operators MUST ensure that versions can only be minted a single time. This MAY require skipping version numbers if a release process failed, to avoid double-signing.

This scheme can be adapted to more complicated release schemes: for example, minor update-releases 1.0 to 1.99 can be accommodated by assigning signatures 1-100 for these version numbers, while release 2.0-2.99 would get signatures 101-200. The assignments MUST be fixed as the scheme is set up, and operators SHOULD take into account that they are strictly limiting the number of update releases. In the described solution to state management, one MUST move up a major release number after 99 minor releases, even if this would break, e.g., semantic versioning conventions.

A variant of pre-assigning signatures is doing this on the basis of time, which we describe in the next section.

5.8. Time-based State Management

As a variant of pre-assigning one-time signatures based on external counters, it is in theory possible to base the selection of one-time signature indexes on the current date and time. For example, if a given S-HBS instance offers 1024 total signatures, they could be broken up into 8 groups of 128 OTS instances each, with the first 128 allowed to be used in the first time window, the second 128 in the second time window, and so on, until the signature space is effectively exhausted after 8 time windows. Note that a time-based approach to state management will "waste" any OTS keys that are unused in past time windows. One MUST NOT attempt to use these keys after the time window has gone by.

Any time-based approach has a very strict reliance on accurate time-keeping and synchronization of clocks. In particular, we identify that at least the following engineering-related challenges need to be considered:

  • Signing devices MUST have accurate timekeeping (which is a very challenging engineering problem [XKCD1883], [XKCD2867], [TIMEFALSEHOODS]).

  • Time on signing devices MUST NOT be allowed to ever move backwards, as this can cause double-signing.

  • Within time windows, signers MUST track the number of signatures produced to ensure it does not exceed the number allowed within the window.

  • Signing devices MUST still operate consistently with the requirements of state keeping for S-HBS: the signature index within a time window SHOULD still appear to be updated atomically, and signatures MUST NOT be released before state changes have been recorded.

  • A system SHOULD be robust against exhaustion of the number of signatures available in a time window, as in this case it is REQUIRED to wait until the next time window starts before new messages can be signed.

  • Time on signing devices SHOULD NOT be allowed to be moved forward maliciously or accidentally, which would allow for a simple denial-of-service attack by skipping over portions of the signature space.

  • If a signing device needs to be replaced, the replacement device MUST be set up with its time in sync with or ahead of the device it is to replace. This implies the current time on signing devices SHOULD be continuously recorded.

  • Rate limiting MAY need to be considered, as exhausting the available signatures in a given time window may otherwise be easy.

  • It MAY be necessary for signers to keep a separate clock for time-based state management, and one for not necessarily monotonically increasing "wall-time", e.g., if signed artifacts are expected to be time-stamped with real-world time.

If these concerns can not be sufficiently addressed, time-based state management as described in this paragraph SHOULD NOT be used. Note that this list of concerns is not exhaustive, and other, unmentioned, concerns may also be relevant to the security of a time-based solution.

Time-based systems can be backed up by simply recording the private keys and the configuration of the time windows. In case of loss of a signing device, a time-based state management system can be recovered by using this information to bring online a new device in the next time window. This approach MAY also be used as a recovery mechanism in the case of (suspected) state consistency problems during a time window. However, the operator MUST NOT allow new signatures to be produced before the new time window starts, unless they know the exact state at which the previous device became unavailable and are able to set up the new device accordingly. Waiting until the start of the next time window avoids double signing, as the OTS keys assigned to future time windows are guaranteed to have not yet been used. However, this might incur significant downtime of the signing systems. Downtime MAY be avoided by forcibly moving the signing device to the next time window by incrementing its clock; however, this induced clock drift will then need to be accounted for in the future. If clock drift is to be avoided, this approach SHOULD account for availability considerations.

6. Backup management beyond NIST SP-800-208

In this section, an alternative backup mechanism for S-HBS is presented in a generic form, which makes the strategy applicable for both multi-tree instances XMSSMT and HSS. However, following the same arguments as in Section 5.3, with minor modifications, the presented strategy is also applicable for single-tree instances such as XMSS and LMS.

The strategy presented in this section builds upon the multi-tree variant approach from [SP-800-208], and aims to mitigate its limitations described in Section 5.2. Thus, it is assumed that already a top-level Merkle tree (for signing the root-nodes of sub-trees) and several bottom-level Merkle trees (for signing messages) are initiated. These bottom-level trees MAY be implemented on different hardware modules in order to obtain redundancy and improve availability. Let R be the number of these already initiated bottom-level trees. Let h0 be the height of the top-level-tree. It is assumed that R + 1 is strictly smaller than 2h0, the number of leaves of the top-level tree.

In this new strategy, after the completed key generation procedure from the multi-tree variant approach from [SP-800-208], further bottom-level trees are generated, one by one, in one of the hardware modules. These new bottom-level trees are each generated from a different seed, which is chosen uniformly at random. For the sake of clarity, let us introduce some notation:

For each new bottom-level tree, after it has been generated, the following steps MUST be performed:

The newly generated bottom-level trees (i.e. those bottom-level trees, whose indices belong to Inew) are only used in order to guarantee availability in the worst-case scenario, where at the same time both

This scenario may, for example, happen if all hardware modules are broken at the same time.

As soon as this worst-case scenario occurs, the newly generated bottom-level trees (i.e. those bottom-level trees, whose indices belong to Inew) need to be initiated in order to ensure availability. In order to do this the following steps MUST be performed:

Now this bottom-level tree can be used to sign messages. As soon as no more OTS on the bottom-level tree are available or as soon as the hardware module is broken, the above steps with a new seed from the backup medium can be repeated.

Note that the resulting signatures generated from these backed up seeds do not require any special processing on the verifier side. The signature stored alongside the backed up seed, and the signature generated from the bottom-level trees created from the backed up seed can be combined to match the format of a signature over the complete tree.

7. Security Considerations

Further security considerations, which are not already covered in this document, are given in [SP-800-208], [MCGREW], [FIPS205], [RFC8391] and [RFC8554].

8. IANA Considerations

This document has no IANA actions.

9. References

9.1. Normative References

Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, , <>.
Leiba, B., "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC 2119 Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174, DOI 10.17487/RFC8174, , <>.

9.2. Informative References

Bruinderink, L. and A. Hülsing, "Oops, I did it again – Security of One-Time Signatures under Two-Message Attacks.", , <>.
Bellare, M., Stepanovss, I., and B. Waters, "New Negative Results on Differing-Inputs Obfuscation", n.d., <>.
European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), "State management for stateful authentication mechanisms", , <>.
National Institute of Standards and Technology, "FIPS 205 (draft): Stateless Hash-Based Digital Signature Standard", Federal Information Processing Standards , , <>.
Bashiri, K., Fluhrer, S., Gazdag, S., Van Geest, D., and S. Kousidis, "Internet X.509 Public Key Infrastructure: Algorithm Identifiers for Hash-based Signatures", n.d., <>.
McGrew, D., Kampanakis, P., Fluhrer, S., Gazdag, S., Butin, D., and J. Buchmann, "State Management for Hash-Based Signatures", , <>.
Huelsing, A., Butin, D., Gazdag, S., Rijneveld, J., and A. Mohaisen, "XMSS: eXtended Merkle Signature Scheme", RFC 8391, DOI 10.17487/RFC8391, , <>.
Schaad, J. and R. Andrews, "IANA Registration for the Cryptographic Algorithm Object Identifier Range", RFC 8411, DOI 10.17487/RFC8411, , <>.
McGrew, D., Curcio, M., and S. Fluhrer, "Leighton-Micali Hash-Based Signatures", RFC 8554, DOI 10.17487/RFC8554, , <>.
Housley, R., "Hash Of Root Key Certificate Extension", RFC 8649, DOI 10.17487/RFC8649, , <>.
Laurie, B., Messeri, E., and R. Stradling, "Certificate Transparency Version 2.0", RFC 9162, DOI 10.17487/RFC9162, , <>.
Cooper, D., Apon, D., Dang, Q., Davidson, M., Dworkin, M., and C. Miller, "Recommendation for Stateful Hash-Based Signature Schemes", NIST Special Publication 800-208 , , <>.
Visée, T., "Falsehoods programmers believe about time", n.d., <>.
Munroe, R., "xkcd: Timezones", n.d., <>.
Munroe, R., "xkcd: DateTime", n.d., <>.


This document was inspired by discussions at the 2nd Oxford Post-Quantum Cryptography Summit 2023.

We gratefully acknowledge Melissa Azouaoui for her input to this document.

The abstract and the introduction are based on the introduction in [HBSX509]. Thanks go to the authors of this document. "Copying always makes things easier and less error-prone" - [RFC8411].


Authors' Addresses

Thom Wiggers
Kaveh Bashiri
Stefan Kölbl
Jim Goodman
Crypto4A Technologies
Stavros Kousidis