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These standards could keep quantum computers from cracking encryption

A U.S. government agency on Tuesday named four technologies it expects to store computer data when Quantum computers are mature enough to break today’s encryption technology.

Scientists have shown that quantum computers could destroy mainstream encryption technology if the current advances in quantum computers are sustained and sustained. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is overseeing the search to design and test post-quantum cryptography tech to protect that data.

Of the four technologies selected by the national institute, two are expected to be more widely used.

One, called Crystals-Kyber, for establishing the digital keys needed by two computers to share encrypted data. The other, Crystals-Dilithium, for signing encrypted data to identify who sent the data. It will probably take two years for the procedures to be standardized enough for today’s software and hardware inclusion.

Quantum computers continue to evolve, but it is likely that it will still take many years of work to make machines reliable and powerful enough to crack encryption. However, strengthening encryption is now an urgent issue. It takes years to find new ways to encrypt, make sure it’s secure and install it in bulk. And government agencies and hackers can harvest today’s sensitive information with the expectation that they can crack it later if the data becomes valuable.

“We believe 10 to 15 years is a commonly held view of attack times,” said Duncan Jones, head of cybersecurity for quantum computer hardware and software maker Quantinuum. “But with the possibility of ‘hacking now, decrypting later,’ the attacks may have already begun.”

Quantum computers can also corrupt cryptocurrencies, which also use cryptography technology today.

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