Post-quantum MACsec in Ethernet Networks




MACsec, MKA, EAP, post-quantum cryptography, authentication


The demand on MACsec in Ethernet is increasing substantially since MACsec fits well for industrial applications which require strong security as well as efficiency. To provide a long-term security, the MACsec protocol should be resistant to future attacks including quantum attacks. In this paper, MACsec is analysed under a quantum attack scenario. To achieve 128-bit quantum security, AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) algorithms defined in MACsec should mandate to use 256-bit keys. On the other hand, classical public-key cryptosystems in MKA are not secure at all against quantum attacks so that they need to be replaced by post-quantum crypto schemes in a quantum world. We propose an authenticated post-quantum key establishment protocol which is suitable for long-term secure MACsec. The proposed protocol is used in the hybrid mode, an ephemeral key exchange, and an end-to-end encryption. We verified by experiments that the proposed protocol can be deployed in existing a MACsec-enabled Ethernet network.


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Author Biographies

Joo Yeon Cho, ADVA Optical Networking SE, Fraunhoferstrasse 9a, Martinsried, 82152, Germany

Joo Yeon Cho received the Ph.D. degree in cryptography from the Macquarie University, Australia, in 2007. He has worked on the research and development of cryptography and data security for more than 10 years. He is currently a Principal Engineer in the Advanced Technology group at ADVA Optical Networking in Munich, Germany. His expertise comprises cryptography, network security, quantum security and cybersecurity.

Andrew Sergeev, ADVA Optical Networking SE, Fraunhoferstrasse 9a, Martinsried, 82152, Germany

Andrew Sergeev is currently a senior principal engineer in the Advanced Technology department at ADVA Optical Networking, actively participating in various projects in the field of Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and of modern cryptography. Andrew has a broad hands-on experience in software development, system engineering and design for data communications and wireless data services. He is the author of more than twenty inventions in the networking area. Andrew graduated from the Saint Petersburg State Electrotechnical University with a M.Sc. in electrical engineering.


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How to Cite

Cho JY, Sergeev A. Post-quantum MACsec in Ethernet Networks. JCSANDM [Internet]. 2021 Mar. 22 [cited 2023 Sep. 30];10(1):161–176. Available from:



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