Sep 142017
 

TU/e professor of Cryptology Tanja Lange. Photo: Bart van Overbeeke

Researchers are in a race against time to prepare new cryptographic techniques before the arrival of quantum computers, as cryptographers Tanja Lange (Eindhoven University of Technology) and Daniel J. Bernstein (University of Illinois at Chicago, USA) describe today in the journal Nature. In their publication they analyze the options available for this so-called post-quantum cryptography.

The expectation is that quantum computers will be built some time after 2025. Such computers make use of quantum-mechanical properties and can therefore solve some particular problems much faster than our current computers. This will be useful for calculating models for weather forecasts or developing new medicine. However, these operations also affect protection of data using RSA and ECC. With today’s technologies these systems will not be broken in a hundred years but a quantum computer will break these within days if not hours.

Sensitive data in the open

Without protection a lot of sensitive information will be out in the open, even data from years back. “An attacker can record our secure communication today and break it with a quantum computer years later. All of today’s secrets will be lost,” warns Tanja Lange, professor of Cryptology at Eindhoven University of Technology. This concerns private data, bank and health records, but also state secrets. Lange saw the importance of alternative systems already back in 2006 and is busy with creating awareness and developing new systems. “Fairly recently we’re seeing an uptake of post-quantum cryptography in the security agencies, e.g., the NSA, and companies start demanding solutions.”

Research consortium

Lange leads the research consortium PQCRYPTO consisting of eleven universities and companies. PQCRYPTO started in 2015 with 3.9 million euro funding from the European Commission to develop new cryptographic techniques. “This might seem like a lot of money, but is a factor of 100 less than what goes into building quantum computers.” says Lange. She cautions that it is important to strengthen research in cryptography. “Bringing cryptographic techniques to the end user takes often another 15 to 20 years, after development and standardization.”

Shor’s algorithm

In their Nature publication Lange and Bernstein explain that a certain quantum algorithm, namely Shor’s algorithm, breaks all cryptographic techniques that are currently used to establish secure connections on the Internet. Candidates for post-quantum cryptography can roughly be categorized into two types: they are either very well understood and confidence-inspiring but require a lot of bandwidth or they are more convenient to use but provide more questionable security.

Nature

The publication appears in an issue of Nature with special attention to topics related to quantum computers: from different candidates of elementary building blocks of quantum computers till, e.g., the development of new algorithms. The journal invited Lange to write the article on post-quantum cryptography.

Learn more: ‘The dark side’ of quantum computers

 

The Latest on: Quantum computers
  • Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology edge closer to quantum computing breakthrough
    on February 21, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology claim to have become the first to manufacture a component able to host a 'Majorana particle', that is, a subatomic particle that could become stable building blocks of a quantum computer. Majorana fermions ... […]

  • Hello, quantum world
    on February 21, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    This mess of equipment is a computer. Not just any computer, but one on the verge of passing what may, perhaps, go down as one of the most important milestones in the history of the field. Quantum computers promise to run calculations far beyond the reach ... […]

  • Tuning quantum light sources
    on February 21, 2018 at 6:44 am

    (Nanowerk News) Knowing the details of the quantum world—electrons and packets of light called photons—could radically improve computers and sensors. A critical component to making devices that harness the quantum world is a source that emits a regular ... […]

  • New Quantum Crypto Scheme Looks Ahead to "Quantum Internet"
    on February 21, 2018 at 6:31 am

    Chinese researchers have put forward a new quantum cryptography standard that could, if confirmed, substantially increase the speed of encrypted messages. The proposed new standard has been simulated on computers although not yet tested in the lab. […]

  • Cardano Foundation Publishes Research on Threat of Quantum Computing
    on February 21, 2018 at 4:04 am

    Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies can be threatened in some ways. Quantum computing is perhaps of the biggest concerns as of right now. The Cardano Foundation and think-tank Z/YN recently released their findings on this potential threat to public ... […]

  • Unconventional superconductor may be used to create quantum computers of the future
    on February 20, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    With their insensitivity to decoherence what are known as Majorana particles could become stable building blocks of a quantum computer. The problem is that they only occur under very special circumstances. Now researchers at Chalmers University of ... […]

  • Topological Quantum Superconductor Progress Reported
    on February 20, 2018 at 6:56 am

    Overcoming sensitivity to decoherence is a persistent stumbling block in efforts to build effective quantum computers. Now, a group of researchers from Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden) report progress in devising a superconductor able to host ... […]

  • Quantum Computing Performance By the Glass
    on February 20, 2018 at 1:22 am

    On today’s episode of “The Interview” with The Next Platform, we talk about quantum computing performance and functionality with Rigetti Computing quantum hardware engineer, Matt Raegor. We talked with Rigetti not long ago about the challenges of ... […]

  • A new form of light could power next-gen quantum computers
    on February 19, 2018 at 10:56 am

    When you throw certain elements together like hydrogen or oxygen, they can bond in pairs or even triplets, forming O2 (oxygen) or O3 (ozone), for instance. Shine two flashlights together, however and ... crickets. The photons simply pass through each other ... […]

  • The Ongoing Battle Between Quantum and Classical Computers
    on February 19, 2018 at 5:00 am

    A popular misconception is that the potential—and the limits—of quantum computing must come from hardware. In the digital age, we’ve gotten used to marking advances in clock speed and memory. Likewise, the 50-qubit quantum machines now coming online ... […]

via Google News and Bing News

Other Interesting Posts

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: