# A Quantum-Based Signcryption for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Networks

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## Abstract

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## 1. Introduction

- Existing standards do not provide strong confidentiality, integrity and availability.
- Existing intrusion detection systems do not provide confidentiality.
- Existing key management protocols fail to provide confidentiality and availability.
- Current security schemes do not provide resistance against an attack launched by a quantum computer.

- We have identified one possible attack based on quantum computing on SCADA systems.
- We propose a new security scheme, to prevent unauthorized access to SCADA systems, and protect against the traditional as well as the quantum attack. Furthermore, the proposed scheme provides both encryption and intrusion detection. The scheme generates a signcrypted message by using the Bennett and Brassard 1984 (BB84) protocol and a one-time digital signature. Unlike other signcryption schemes, this scheme does not depend on a third party.

#### Outline of the Paper

## 2. Background

- Existing Error Correction Protocols Used in Quantum Key Exchange System;
- Error Correction Protocol proposed for wireless network;
- Error Correction Protocol used in the Proposed Security Scheme;
- One-time Digital Signature.

#### 2.1. Existing Error Correction Protocols Used in Quantum Key Exchange Systems

#### 2.1.1. Cascade

#### 2.1.2. Winnow

#### 2.1.3. Low-Density Parity Check (LDPC)

#### 2.2. Error Correction Protocol Proposed for Wireless Networks: Low Complexity Parity Check (LCPC)

#### Low Complexity Parity Check (LCPC) Protocol

#### 2.3. Error Correction Protocol Used in the Proposed Security Scheme

#### 2.4. Post-Quantum Digital Signature: One-Time Digital Signature

## 3. Related Work and Possible Attacks on SCADA Networks

#### 3.1. Possible Attacks on SCADA Networks

#### 3.1.1. Man-in-the-Middle Attack

#### 3.1.2. Brute-Force Attack Using Quantum Computer

## 4. Proposed Security Scheme

- MTU has the identities and hashed IDs of all RTUs.
- The ID of MTU is embedded in each and every RTU.
- The RTU and MTU are aware of hash functions used to generate the private key.
- The data stored in the legitimate units are secure.
- The distance between the RTU and the MTU is maximum 200 km.

- Phase A:
- Quantum Key Distribution;
- Phase B:
- Signcryption;
- Phase C:
- Un-Signcryption.

#### 4.1. Quantum Key Distribution: BB84 Protocol

- Quantum Key Generation;
- Key Sifting;
- Error Correction;
- Privacy Amplification.

#### 4.1.1. Quantum Key Generation

- Case 1: The receiver has a 50% success rate of choosing the right basis to measure the bits and thus getting the correct bits.
- Case 2: The receiver has a 50% failure rate where it selects the wrong basis. However, the outcome of using the wrong machine is random, which is either 0 or 1. Thus, the probability of incorrect bits in the received bits is 25%, and that of correct bits is 75%. This ratio persists in the absence of any eavesdropper [13,36].

#### 4.1.2. Key Sifting

#### 4.1.3. Error Correction Protocol

- Case 1: If QBER is higher than 25%, both units discard the sifted key, and it generates the raw key again.
- Case 2: If QBER is less than 25%, the units follow the error correction protocol and privacy amplification.

- It helps both the units check the confidentiality and integrity of the obtained sub-sifted key.
- The RTU sends its sub-sifted key encoding it with ECP protocol to MTU. The encoded key is called the codeword. The encoding involves adding extra bits or parity bits to the original data. It helps the receiver to detect and resolve the errors. Therefore, the eavesdropper is unable to read the original key. When the codeword is modified, it is detected as well as resolved by the MTU.
- In this phase, based on the QBER, the sub-sifted key is corrected as the errors are reconciled.

- $c\left(x\right)$ is the valid codeword.
- $i\left(x\right)$ is the information block.
- $g\left(x\right)$ is the generator polynomial.

- Syndrome calculator: It calculates the syndrome which is used to identify the symbol errors. One symbol error occurs when either 1 bit is incorrect or all the bits are incorrect in a symbol.
- Error locator: It then finds the symbol error locations by calculating the error locator polynomial. It uses Euclid’s algorithm.
- Calculate magnitude of error: Then, it finds the roots of the error locator polynomial.
- Error evaluation: To calculate the symbol error values, the Forney algorithm is used.

#### 4.1.4. Privacy Amplification

#### 4.2. Signcryption

- Encryption: The RTU makes a copy of the data and encrypts the data with the finalized quantum key.
- One-Time Digital Signature: The RTU hashes the copy of the data. It then encrypts the hash with its private key (PK). It segments the quantum key into equal chunks. It then generates a private key by applying a hash function on one of the segments of the QK. It concatenates the hashed message, hashed unique ID of the RTU and a timestamp. The PK is used to encrypt the concatenated data, thus generating a one-time digital signature.

#### 4.3. Un-Signcryption

- Decryption: The MTU decrypts the encrypted data with the quantum key (QK).
- Validation: The MTU also decrypts the encrypted hashed value with the private key (PK). The MTU hashes the copied data by the same algorithm used by the RTU. Thus, the timestamp and the hashed ID is extracted and verified.

## 5. Formal Analysis of Proposed Model

- Modeling and Analysis of BB84 protocol in Prism.
- Modeling and Analysis of Signcryption in Scyther.

#### 5.1. Modeling and Analysis of Quantum Phase (BB84 Protocol) in Prism

- The description of the to-be-designed system. It mostly expresses the information in process algebras such that it acts as an input in model checker.
- A set of rules or properties that the system must follow.

- Stage 1:
- Model the system where it represents all the states and transitions of the system.
- Stage 2:
- Model the system where it expresses its properties in temporal logic statements.

- Public channel handles the transmission of messages in such a way that the system monitors the process. However, the eavesdropper is unable to monitor the messages.
- Quantum channel handles message exchange in such a way that any attempt by an eavesdropper to monitor the channel causes an alteration in the message and thus creates a noise.

- Intercept–Resend Attack: The eavesdropper uses the basis once to measure the qubit. It measures a qubit, and the state of the qubit changes randomly.
- Random–Substitute Attack: The eavesdropper uses the basis twice. At first, it uses the basis to measure the qubit. After fetching the value of the qubit, it reads the same qubit again to replace its value. It is an attempt to clone the state of the qubit.

- Whether the protocol detects any intrusion;
- How much information is leaked processing the protocol;
- Can BB84 protocol discard or prevent the eavesdropping attack.

- P1 = Probability of detecting an eavesdropper (EVE);
- P2 = Probability that EVE measures more than half of the information correctly;
- N = No. of bits transferred;
- Correct bits measured by Eve ≥ N/2;
- L = LUCKY = Probability of obtaining correct value with wrong basis;
- REPLACE = 0.5 = Probability of substituting with 0 or 1.

- Model 1: BB84 with intercept–resend eavesdropping attack;
- Model 2: BB84 with random-substitute eavesdropping attack.

#### 5.2. Modeling and Analysis of Classical Phase in Scyther

- The sender or the receiver is communicating with a trusted party.
- The sender and the receiver are communicating over an untrusted channel.

- Aliveness: There is at least one communication partner in the network.
- Synchronization: The intended party is aware of the authenticity of the other party to which it is communicating with.
- The protocol is executing.
- Message Agreement: The message sent by the sender is intact and not tampered. Thus, it has been exchanged as expected.

- Secrecy of the keys and the cipher.
- Commitment and aliveness of the two parties.
- Synchronization of the communication between two parties.
- Weak agreement property tests spoofing or man-in-the-middle (MiM) attack between the two parties. A weak agreement between two roles means there is no third-party spoofing or launching a MiM attack [45].

## 6. Experimental Results

#### 6.1. Comparative Analysis between 128-Bit BB84 vs. 256-BB84 Protocol

- Group1:
- It involves performing the proposed scheme on 128-bit initial or raw key.
- Group2:
- It involves performing the proposed scheme on 256-bit initial or raw key.

- Error rate;
- Sifted key size;
- Final key size;
- Execution time;
- Digital signature size;
- Time to generate a raw key.

- The QBER evidently increases as the size of the raw key increases.
- The sifted key size is directly proportional to the raw key size.
- The final key size does not vary when the raw key size varies.
- The digital signature size does not vary when when the raw key size is doubled.
- The execution time significantly changes when the raw key is adjusted.

#### 6.2. Comparative Analysis between AGA-12 vs. Our Proposed Scheme

#### 6.3. Challenges of Implementing a QKD to SCADA Networks

## 7. Conclusions

- It resists not only the attacks of traditional computers but also quantum computers using Shor’s algorithm. It also defends against man-in-the-middle attack.
- It is an encryption algorithm which also acts as an intrusion detection system.
- The scheme adds authentication to the communications between units.
- It does not rely on any third party for key generation and authentication.

## Author Contributions

## Funding

## Data Availability Statement

## Acknowledgments

## Conflicts of Interest

## References

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**Figure 12.**Comparison of Group 1: 128-bit raw key vs. Group 2: 256-bit raw key, using the mean value of generation time of each group.

**Figure 13.**Comparison of Group 1: 128-bit raw key vs. Group 2: 256-bit raw key, using the mean value of each feature.

**Figure 16.**Comparison of execution time of generating RSA keys used in AGA-12 and BB84 keys used in proposed scheme.

Term | Description |
---|---|

Traditional or Classical Cryptography | It is a type of cryptography that is based on mathematical computation that uses a single communication channel [12]. |

Quantum Cryptography | Cryptography dependent on the principles of quantum mechanics and two channels, namely, quantum and public channels [13]. |

Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle | This principle states that it is not possible to obtain the position and momentum of a photon with absolute accuracy [14]. |

Principle of Photon Polarization | This principle states that a photon can have a superposition of two or more quantum states at a time [15]. |

No-Cloning Theorem | This theorem states that one cannot produce an identical copy of an arbitrary quantum state of a photon [16]. |

Quantum Bit Error Rate (QBER) | QBER is the fraction of mismatched qubits exchanged between the sender and the receiver [13]. |

Error Correction Code (ECC) | ECC is an algorithm that detects and corrects errors in transmitted data [17]. |

Quantum Channel | Quantum Channel exchanges qubits and can create noise in the presence of an intruder or due to environmental factors [13]. |

Qubit | Qubit is a basic unit of data in quantum computing. It follows the properties of Principle of Photon polarization and Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle [13]. |

Basis | Basis is a vector used to generate the superposed state of qubits [18]. |

Signcryption | An authenticated encryption scheme to provide both confidentiality and authenticity [19]. |

One-Time Signature (OTS) | OTS is based on hash-function that signs one message per key pair [20]. |

CLASSICAL ATTACKS | Description | |
---|---|---|

Attack against Confidentiality | Packet Sniffing | The intruder intercepts the incoming and outgoing traffic in a network and fetches sensitive information by decoding the data packets. By using Wireshark and Tcpdump, sniffing can be attained. |

Eavesdrop | The intruder can install an eavesdropping equipment in the wired or wireless network between the RTU and MTU. The ongoing conversations can be wiretapped. Tools that can be used include Wireshark and dnsiff. | |

Attack against Integrity | Man-in-the-middle attack (MiM) | In an MiM attack, the intruder monitors the traffic between the two nodes. The data packets traded between two victim nodes are captured. The intruder then injects abnormal data during the transmission and sends it to the receiver. It can launch IP spoofing and a Session Hijacking attack. A few tools that are used to launch MiM attack are Ettercap, SSLStrip and Evilgrade. |

Session Hijacking | After a successful MiM attack, the intruder accesses the information and services in the MTU and RTU. It accesses the session ID and launches a replay attack. A few examples of tools are Ettercap and Evilgrade. | |

Data Injection | The intruder can successfully alter the data after launching an MiM attack. A few tools that can be used are Wireshark and Ettercap. | |

Replay Attack | The attacker can launch a replay attack by performing session hijacking and IP spoofing. By imitating as a friendly unit and using the session ID, it stores the old data and sends it to other units later. Tools that can be used are Ettercap and Evilgrade. | |

Attack against Authentication | Masquerade | By using IP spoofing, the attacker uses a fake identity to pretend as a original unit and steals essential data from the system or the network. For example, it can fetch passwords and gain access to the system. Tools that can be used for launching this type of attack are Ettercap, Arpspoof and Brutus. |

Attack against Availability | Denial of Service (DoS) | This kind of attack occurs when a compromised unit is used to target a system by sending huge traffic or a large amount of junk data. A unit can be compromised in several ways after a successful MiM attack. The examples of DoS attack tools are Slowloris and GoldenEye. |

QUANTUM ATTACK | ||

Quantum Attack | Brute Force Attack by a Quantum Computer | The emergence of the quantum computer brings with it benefits as well as risks to the cyber field. A quantum computer is way faster and more efficient than traditional computers. Using Shor’s and Grover’s algorithm, a quantum computer can launch a brute force attack and crack the traditional encryption schemes in a brief time. One such problem is elliptic curve cryptography (ECC or ECDSA). |

MODEL 1 | P1 | P2 |
---|---|---|

N = 4 | 0.938 | 0.145 |

N = 5 | 0.969 | 0.155 |

N = 6 | 0.984 | 0.065 |

N = 7 | 0.992 | 0.067 |

N = 8 | 0.996 | 0.028 |

LUCKY = 0.5 |

MODEL 1 | P1 | P2 |
---|---|---|

L= 0.5 | 0.968 | 0.155 |

L = 0.6 | 0.968 | 0.174 |

L = 0.7 | 0.968 | 0.193 |

L= 0.8 | 0.968 | 0.285 |

N = 5 |

MODEL 1 | P1 | P2 |
---|---|---|

N = 4 | 0.938 | 0.145 |

N = 5 | 0.969 | 0.155 |

N = 6 | 0.984 | 0.065 |

N = 7 | 0.992 | 0.067 |

N = 8 | 0.996 | 0.028 |

LUCKY = 0.5 |

MODEL 1 | P1 | P2 |
---|---|---|

L= 0.5 | 0.969 | 0.155 |

L = 0.6 | 0.969 | 0.174 |

L = 0.7 | 0.969 | 0.193 |

L= 0.8 | 0.969 | 0.285 |

N = 5 |

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**MDPI and ACS Style**

Ghosh, S.; Zaman, M.; Plourde, B.; Sampalli, S.
A Quantum-Based Signcryption for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Networks. *Symmetry* **2022**, *14*, 1625.
https://doi.org/10.3390/sym14081625

**AMA Style**

Ghosh S, Zaman M, Plourde B, Sampalli S.
A Quantum-Based Signcryption for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Networks. *Symmetry*. 2022; 14(8):1625.
https://doi.org/10.3390/sym14081625

**Chicago/Turabian Style**

Ghosh, Sagarika, Marzia Zaman, Bernard Plourde, and Srinivas Sampalli.
2022. "A Quantum-Based Signcryption for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Networks" *Symmetry* 14, no. 8: 1625.
https://doi.org/10.3390/sym14081625