The Difference Between Quantum Cryptography and Post-Quantum Cryptography
What Is the Difference Between Quantum Cryptography and Post-Quantum Cryptography?
Selected notes ~
+ What is Quantum Cryptography? In quantum cryptography, a pair of photons is entangled to ensure that whatever happens to one affects the state of the other. A sender would transmit one of these photons to a recipient, who performs a previously agreed-upon measurement, which will also be reflected in the proton kept by the sender, thanks to quantum entanglement. If the calculation is correct, both parties know that their communication is encrypted. To break the key and steal the message, a hacker would need to measure the particles, which would alter their behavior. This would serve as an alert that the key had been compromised and rendered useless.
+ If quantum cryptography makes it a hundred times more difficult for “bad guys” to crack systems and steal the data — or an improvement of exponentially more profound impact — then federal IT decision-makers have a duty as public servants to seriously explore and invest in this technology.
“For most organizations, quantum encryption or QKD is not what they’re going to need. It’s most likely going to be post-quantum encryption,” Moody says.
+ What is Post-Quantum Cryptography? In short, post-quantum cryptography consists of algorithms designed to withstand cyberattacks should quantum computers become powerful enough. Once that happens, says Dustin Moody, a mathematician at NIST, post-quantum encryption will come into play on a large scale.
+ In 2015, the National Security Agency made a public statement about the quantum threat and announced that the agency was starting its transition, something Moody says was not only a surprise but also underscored the need to take post-quantum cryptography seriously.
+ Standardization of Post-Quantum Cryptography. Today, NIST is evaluating post-quantum algorithms with an eye toward choosing a standard for all post-quantum cryptography.
+ In 2016, the organization announced an international contest that resulted in 82 algorithms submitted for consideration, 69 of which met the predetermined requirements.
+ In 2019, the 26 most promising submissions were chosen to move on to the next round of evaluations and testing, including those from Microsoft and IBM. NIST hopes to narrow that list even further by June for a third round of evaluation. The institute is aiming to have a standard released for public comment by 2022.
Content may have been edited for style and clarity.