U.S. DoD Defense Information Systems Agency Seeking Quantum-resistant Algorithms. The U.S. DoD Defense Information Systems Agency is seeking quantum-resistant algorithm prototypes. The effort appears to have the same goal as the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Post-quantum Cryptography Project. The NIST project aims “to solicit, evaluate, and standardize one or more quantum-resistant public-key cryptographic algorithms.” The NIST project has a conference discussing the second round of candidate quantum-resistant algorithms. The NIST conference takes place this August 22 through 24, 2019, at UC, Santa Barbara. Perhaps DISA should attend. As for DISA, there is not much difference, effectively, in what the DoD is seeking. Qubit.
From the DISA Solicitation:
The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), Emerging Technology (EM) Directorate through the DISA Procurement Services Directorate (PSD) is seeking information from Industry to evaluate the use of quantum-safe algorithms and cryptographic solutions that can defend Department of Defense (DoD) Information Technology (IT) infrastructure from malicious cyber activities.
One of the immediate concerns facing DoD has to do with public key cryptography data encryption. Theoretically, adversaries could utilize quantum computers to crack the code that is widely used for secure online transactions and communications. Certain algorithms currently utilized across the DoD on various systems are vulnerable to attacks from large-scale quantum computers. The exact time of the arrival of the quantum-computing era is unknown; however, DoD must begin now to prepare its information security systems to be able to resist attacks from large-scale quantum computers.
This request for White Paper (RWP) is being issued to conduct research, development, and testing activities associated with evaluating Quantum-Resistant algorithms, and cryptographic solution that can be used to enable quantum-encrypted information transfer using symmetric encryption.
STATEMENT OF NEED
Arrival of the quantum-computing era is inevitable, though its timing is unknown. DoD must begin now to prepare its information security systems to protect against quantum computing attacks. One of the immediate concerns facing DoD has to do with Public key cryptography data encryption.
Due to growing concerns related to quantum computers-machines, DISA has begun to investigate quantum-resistant or quantum-safe cryptography algorithms and solutions. The goal of this prototype Other Transaction Authority (OTA) is to research, evaluate, test, and deliver a prototype utilizing cryptographic algorithms and solutions that would secure DoD IT systems against both quantum and classical computers.
The Quantum-Resistant Cryptography prototype will support the following:
- Future improvements, technical feasibility, and optional challenges associated with implementing new algorithms and solutions on the current DoD PKI/PKE components, technology, and processes;
- Time to generate Public Key, Ciphertext, and Signature Size (i.e., key size) locally on DoD devices;
- The hardware and software efficiency of the public key (encryption, encapsulation, and signature verification) and private key (decryption, decapsulation, and signing) operations dealing with traffic volume;
- Decryption/decapsulation failures associated with application utilization and identify interactive protocols that establish key failures;
- Performance test results to contribute to the national discussion and build a case to recommend an algorithms and possible solutions to use as the industry standard.
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