NIST Narrows Candidate Quantum-resistant Algorithms. On the last day of January, 2019, the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology released its latest list of quantum-resistant algorithms. Now, well into the process, the NIST goal is to select one or more public-key crypto algorithms and make it a new standard. NIST intends that “these algorithms will be capable of protecting sensitive information well into the foreseeable future, including after the advent of quantum computers.”
In 2016, NIST had put out a call for quantum-resistant algorithms. The initial deadline for submissions was November, 2017. That month, 82 algorithms were received. By the end of December, the vetting process of the initial 82 was completed; the field had been whittled to 69. The First Round of the NIST Post-Quantum Cryptography Standardization process was underway with these 69 candidates.
The NIST crew and, effectively, a voluntary group of researchers studied each algorithm; running them through the paces. Focus was on the ability for the algorithm to resist quantum computer hacking, at least theoretically. Fast-forward to January 31, 2019. NIST announced the second round of the competition just last week. Of the initial 82 submissions, only 26 remain. The below chart puts some detail to the remaining algorithms.