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NSA Says New Encryption Standards Needed to Resist Quantum Computing


New standards could help withstand quantum threats to encryption.

The U.S. National Security Agency is developing new security standards in response to the potential threat to encryption of quantum computing.

Credit: Olena Shmahalo/Quanta Magazine

The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is developing encryption standards to withstand quantum computing, especially since the industry and markets are heading toward quantum capability, according to the agency's Neal Ziring.

He says NSA's concerns are justified by quantum computers' use of quantum superposition, which would enable them to run complex algorithms whose operation is beyond classical digital systems' abilities.

Ziring says NSA's priorities include researching quantum-resistant encryption algorithms, and compiling a list of current encryption methods to no longer be employed; the list also includes encryption methods recommended for national security systems.

Although commercial users that do not handle classified information do not have to use these stronger encryption methods, they are permitted to do so.

The next step for these users is ensuring encryption practices fulfill NSA guidelines by having them comply with the mandates of federal information processing standard 140-2.

From eWeek
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