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The Contest to Protect Almost Everything on the Internet


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Quantum computers could one day break todays encryption methods.

Hundreds of the world's leading cryptographers are participating in a competition overseen by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology to develop new encryption standards.

Credit: Quinn Russell Brown/The Wall Street Journal

Hundreds of the world's leading cryptographers are participating in a competition overseen by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology to develop new encryption standards for protecting online data against classical and quantum-computing cyberattacks.

The contest aims to replace commonly used public-key cryptography methods by 2023, including the popular RSA approach, whose basis on integer factorization makes it vulnerable to quantum computers.

Cryptographers warn that hackers could already be harvesting massive amounts of data to decrypt, in anticipation of quantum computers.

Among the most promising contest submissions are algorithms based on mathematical lattices, which can resemble geometric shapes with more than 1,000 dimensions.

From The Wall Street Journal
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