Excerpts sourced from Journal of Cyber Policy.
Mitigating the Quantum Security Threat
QuintessenceLabs, which was founded in 2008 in Canberra Australia, has developed a countermeasure for quantum hacking. It’s based on implementing truly random keys, keys that are essentially quantum in nature. “Today, we have a key that we hope is random,” Melia said. “But in reality, they are actually predictable. Mathematics is pretty predictable, so when we generate random keys using random events, such as with algorithms, they are still pretty vulnerable in the quantum context.”
The Quintessence solution is to create what Melia calls “entropy keys,” with a higher degree of randomness and chaos than today’s keys. Each bit in such a key is totally unrelated to the one before and after it. This approach mirrors the unpredictable nature of quantum physics. Quintessence calls its product qRand™. It’s a “Quantum Entropy Injector” that feeds quantum random numbers to the entropy pool of a computer. This solves a problem that Quintessence refers to as “entropy starvation.”
As Melia put it, “Your applications will always have sufficient entropy, even in virtual environments.” The qRand solution can be embedded in hardware. It also includes a key management tool.
The broader point, according to Melia, is to prepare now for what is coming. “If quantum key cracking will arrive in five years, you don’t want to wait five years to deal with the problem. You have to understand how long your data needs to stay safe and map out our quantum strategy now.”