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LATEST NEWS

  • Philip Osadebay - Tech Journalist

Cyber attacks: U.S. discloses new technology to repel quantum computing attacks

Presently in the US, The Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and

Technology has discovered four encryption tools to resist impending cyber attacks driven

by quantum computing.



The four encryption algorithms will be a NIST cryptographic standard that will be

completed by the end of 2023. Cyber security experts can use these encryption algorithms

to resist probable imminent cyber-attacks. Unfortunately, the encryption tools would also

break through the security placed on personal privacy in digital systems, especially email

software and online banking information systems.


This progress was birthed from an effort pushed by NIST in 2016 to implore cryptographers

across the globe to develop an encryption method that could repel an attack from a future

quantum computer that happens to be more powerful than most conventional hardware

we have today.


The NIST will announce the finalists from that round in the nearest future. They plan to

announce their choices in two batches because of the dire need for a robust defense tool.

There would be variable approaches for encryption so that more algorithms in every use

case would be available. Various systems would provide solutions for diverse conditions.

Encryption tools that can resist quantum computer phishing.


The first four quantum-resistant algorithms built would depend on mathematical problems

in quantum, and conventional computers would find difficulty in solving it. This means The

technology will defend the privacy of users.


The resistant algorithms are built mainly for two purposes:

General encryption: This encryption method is designed to safeguard all information’

exchanged over any public network. This encryption is used only when users access

protected websites. For the encryption, the NIST choose the CRYSTALS Kyber algorithm,

which includes small encryption keys that two people can easily exchange and its swift

operation.


Digital Signature is used to make all identity authentication on the internet. Users are

required to verify identity during transactions or to sign documents distantly. The NIST

used FALCON, SPHINCS, and CRYSTALS Dilithium. Critics evaluated the efficiency of the

algorithms, recommending CRYSTALS Dilithium as the main algorithm.


They also assessed FALCON as an algorithm for applications requiring more minor

signatures, which CRYSTALS Dilithium can offer. Although, SPHINCS was measured to be

slower and more extensive than the two mentioned earlier. But, it's more valuable than

others for its mathematical approach, which differs from all of the NIST selections.


All the algorithms created were created by experts working together from various countries

and institutions around the world. They created three selected algorithms on a private

mathematical problem called the “structured lattices.” SPHINCS made use of hash functions

to operate. Four additional algorithms are considered to be created for public encryption

but without using hash functions or structured lattices in their methods.


As all the standards mentioned above, The NIST still encourages other cyber security

experts to discover new algorithms and study how each application would use them. They

are not to be deployed into their systems automatically as the algorithms may change even

before the whole standard is concluded.


In preparation, NIST implores users to catalog their systems for public-key cryptography

applications. Companies will replace their systems before all appropriate cryptographic

quantum computers appear. Companies should inform all IT departments and computer

vendors about the forthcoming change.


To prepare, NIST said that users could inventory their systems for public-key cryptography

applications, which will need to be replaced before cryptographically relevant quantum

computers appear. They can also alert their IT departments and vendors about the

upcoming change.

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