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These Standards Could Protect Your Data From Quantum Computer Attacks


After years of evaluation, a U.S. government agency on Tuesday named four technologies that are expected to hide computer data when Quantum computers are mature enough to crack today’s encryption technology.

Scientists have shown that quantum computers can destroy mainstream encryption technology if the current advances in quantum computers are sustained and sustained. The National Institute of Standards and Technology is overseeing the design and testing of 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 on attack time scales,” 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.”

Even if quantum computers remain prevalent today, many startups and technology giants such as Google, IBM, Microsoft, Amazon and Intel are pouring dollars into research into progress and keep up if that progress. Experts hope that quantum computers will add to the capability of classical machines with new specialist abilities in tasks such as finding new materials and drugs from the molecular level and optimizing manufacture.

Ordinary people probably don’t have to worry so much now about the threat of quantum computers later decrypting their data, according to 451 Group analyst James Sanders.

“What is the value of your sensitive information 1, 5, 10, 20, or more years down the road? For companies or government, this is more of an urgent concern, but for the day- day people, things like credit card numbers are rotated enough constantly. that this risk is not too serious to take care of, ”he said.

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

The National Institute of Standards and Technology chose four technologies for standardization in part because it wanted a different set for different situations and because the wider variety would help protect against any future weaknesses to be discovered. To protect against some possible vulnerabilities, many experts recommend hybrid encryption using both conventional and post-quantum methods.

“Actually, a lot of algorithms come out as good options,” NIST’s leader in post-quantum encryption Dustin Moody said in a presentation in March.

NIST has gradually reduced the list of post-quantum candidates over the years, consolidating some with similar approaches and dismissing others with problems. A technology for digital signatures called Rainbow made it into its third phase before an IBM researcher thought this year it could be cracked on a “weekend on a laptop.”



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