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The Quest for Quantum-Proof Encryption Just Made a Leap Forward


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A Google quantum computer.

Fifteen contenders remain in the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology competition to develop quantum-proof encryption, down from an initial list of 69.

Credit: Google

The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology says there are 15 contenders remaining in its competition to develop quantum-proof encryption, down from an initial list of 69.

The contest, launched in 2016, with winners set to be announced in 2022, aims to counter quantum computing's threatened obsolescence of modern cryptography.

Five of the shortlisted candidates employ lattice-based cryptography, which utilizes huge grids with billions of individual points across thousands of dimensions; cracking the code requires getting from one specific point to another, an impossibility without a known route.

Other contenders have alternative approaches that could be viable if lattice systems prove inadequate.

Elena Kirshanova at Russia's I.Kant Baltic Federal University said, "Although [lattice] problems are hard, they seem quite efficient in terms of time to generate keys, time to construct signatures, and also efficient in terms of memory."

From MIT Technology Review
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