NSA Switches to Quantum-Resistant Algorithms

NSA Switches to Quantum-Resistant Algorithms

As world is getting near to use of quantum computing security agencies are taking a notice. NSA recommends companies and American agencies to be prepared for an era of quantum computing where cryptography as we know it is dead and gone.

The quantum attack solves the problem of finding a small generator of a principal ideal in the ring of algebraic integers. The situation is helped by the fact that a basis for the group of units is (more-or-less) already known and so does not need to be first computed by another (possibly quantum) algorithm. It is believed that there are aspects of the design and attack that would benefit from further study by scientists.

Quantum computers are distinct from computers we use today. While digital computers encode data in binary or the sequences of 1 and 0, quantum computers are based on qubits (quantum bits). Qubit is a double state quantum-mechanical system which uses horizontal and vertical polarization. In combination with Shor’s algorithm, quantum computers can almost instantly discover major factors of large numbers. Meaning that even a top level cryptography can be cracked in a matter of seconds.

In previous week National Security Agency updated its guidelines about protection vital national information in order to improve security of national agencies and businesses. NSA has also published online article about this issue stating that:

For those customers who are looking for mitigation to perform while the new algorithm suite is developed and implemented into products, there are several things they can do. First, it is prudent to use larger key sizes in algorithms (see the table below) in many systems (especially, smaller scale systems). Additionally, IAD customers using layered commercial solutions to protect classified national security information with a long intelligence life should begin implementing a layer of quantum resistant protection. Such protection may be implemented today through the use of large symmetric keys and specific secure protocol standards.

NSA Is Worried About Capabilities of Quantum Computing

Online article requires attention because it shows the risks posed by quantum computing and risks are definitely significant to security of every country and company. Before it was considered that building a quantum computer would require a century however today scientist say that quantum future is not that far away and nearly in 20 years they will become reality.

Based on the fact that companies produce security products and sell them to government and other  key stake holders, quantum computers will greatly impact security industry because they would be required to create quantum-prone products.

NSA  has created a scientific article about an attempt to create quantum-resistant cryptosystem which states that designing quantum-resistant cryptography is a difficult task. It took scientists several years to develop Soliloquy (“quantum era crypto systems”) and assess its security against classical attacks, and they had high hopes for quantum resistance at the start of the project. It took NSA scientists several more years to investigate its potential quantum resistance, and they gather that other investigators in this field have also found making progress to be time-consuming.

As it seems quantum era will be a game changer and it will probably affect every industry and every field we know. Until than we can only hope that scientists and security researchers will find ways to secure systems in the age of quantum computing.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.