Future-proof Code Signing

Protect Connected Devices with Authenticated Software Updates

Before public-key cryptography can be used for authentication in long-lived Internet of Things (IoT) devices, an important initial setup is performed even before the devices leave the manufacturing facility: a trusted root public key must be embedded in the device. This is just one step in the creation of a hardware root of trust which is the foundation for trusted software operations and is part of the secure boot process.

The root public key is also essential for code signing. Systems rely on the root public key to validate that software/firmware over-the-air updates (SOTA/FOTA) are coming from a trusted source, such as the manufacturer, without modification or tampering by an attacker. Code signing provides your customers with the peace of mind that what the software they're installing is authentic, verified code that will not harm their system. 

Code Signing is Vulnerable to Quantum Computing's Threat

A root public key embedded today using existing algorithms can be compromised in the future by a quantum computer-enabled adversary. In some cases, updating the root public key must be done manually and onsite which poses the following issues:

  • Logistically challenging: Connected devices end up in remote locations, such as satellites in space and deployed military equipment.
  • Financially prohibitive: recalling millions of connected cars or updating smart grid devices while in-field requires extensive resources. McKinsey estimated that one of the first white hat cyber-attack recalls of 1.4 million connected cars cost the OEM almost $600 million USD.

Future-proof Your Code Signing Process with Quantum-safe Signatures

Protect against losing control over long-lived IoT devices in the quantum age by integrating quantum-safe signatures into your code signing process today.

Quantum-safe algorithms like Hierarchical Signature Scheme (HSS) and eXtended Merkle Signature Scheme (XMSS), have a small public key size and comparable performance to ECC-based signature schemes. Also, stateful hash-based signature schemes can efficiently run on existing hardware 

and are well suited for resource-constrained devices.

Start Now with the ISARA Radiate™ Quantum-safe Toolkit

ISARA (along with our partners) has the technology to future-proof code signing with quantum-safe algorithms today. We've partnered with leading HSM manufacturers to create a space- and speed-optimized implementation of stateful hash-based signatures, available via the ISARA Radiate™ Quantum-safe Toolkit.

The ISARA Radiate Quantum-safe Toolkit includes:

  • Stateful hash-based signatures, Hierarchical Signature Scheme (HSS) and eXtended Merkle Signature Scheme (XMSS), which are well trusted to be used today for specific use cases
    • Importantly, draft standards are available by NIST under SP 800-208, and the IETF has completed specifications under IRTF RFC 8391 and IRTF RFC 8554
    • Small public key and comparable performance to ECC-based signature schemes
  • ISARA’s proprietary approach to state management of the large, stateful private key

Hardware Security Module (HSM) manufacturers, Code Signing Service Providers, and Chipset Manufacturers can benefit from integrating quantum-safe capabilities today to better serve their forward-looking, security-conscious customers.

Get in touch with us to learn how.

Related Resources

  Web Page

ISARA Radiate Quantum-safe Toolkit

  Blog Post

Math Paths to Quantum-safe Security: Hash-based Cryptography


When Quantum and IoT Collide: Rooting Trust in a Quantum World