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NIST asks for help securing data in quantum computing era … because the cybersecurity world is scared sh****ss

December 23rd, 2016 |  Published in Cyber security



“I don’t really know what a quantum computer is … but at this point I’m afraid to ask” 


Gregory P. Bufithis, Esq.


23 December 2016 (Paris, France) – With functional, quantum computers on the (not too distant?) horizon, The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is asking the public for help heading off what it calls “a looming threat to information security:” powerful quantum computers capable of breaking even the strongest encryption codes used to protect the privacy of digital information. In a statement this week, NIST asked the public to submit ideas for “post-quantum cryptography” algorithms that will be “less susceptible to a quantum computer’s attack.” NIST formally announced its quest in a publication on The Federal Register.

Dustin Moody, a mathematician at NIST said the Institute’s main focus is developing new public key cryptography algorithms, which are used today to protect both stored and transmitted information. “We’re looking to replace three NIST cryptographic standards and guidelines that would be the most vulnerable to quantum computers,” Moody said. They are FIPS 186-4, NIST SP 800-56A and NIST SP 800-56B. Researchers have until November, 2017 to submit their ideas. After the deadline, NIST will review the submissions.

Proposals that meet the “post-quantum crypto” standards set up by NIST will be invited to present their algorithms at an open workshop in early 2018.

As quantum computers inch closer to reality, experts are sweating over their potential to render many of today’s cybersecurity technologies useless. Because of quantum computing, there’s a one-in-seven chance that fundamental public-key cryptography tools used today will be broken by 2026, as I wrote earlier this year from the Global Risk Institutes “Quantum Computing and Cybersecurity”. By 2031, that chance jumps to 50 percent.

Although the quantum attacks are not happening yet, critical decisions need to be taken today in order to be able to respond to these threats in the future.

I will have more next week in my last post of the year on the new era for politics, information security … and the cyber war everyone fears but fully expects.

Merry Xmas!


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"The mind that lies fallow but a single day sprouts up follies that are only to be killed by a constant and assiduous culture."
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