Hoping to ease fears of a quantum computing future that will endanger existing crypto security systems, a new protocol has been developed by a private/academic alliance that will ensure security in a quantum environment.
Current computing is based on a binary system, meaning modern-day cryptography is also binary-based. However, once quantum computing finally reaches its full realization, established asymmetric cryptography-based security systems will be made obsolete, since contemporary cryptographic schemes are based on mathematical problems that are difficult for current computers, but easy for quantum computers.
A consortium led by BANKEX’s Oleg Taraskin, InfoSec Global’s Vladimir Soukharev, University of Waterloo’s Jason LeGrow, and evolution Q’s David Jao, along with the Institute for Quantum Computing, developed the protocol.
The protocol is known as Password-Authenticated Key Exchange, or PAKE. First developed by Bellovin and Merritt in 1992, PAKE was initially based on either multiplicative groups or a group of points on elliptic curves.
However, these versions were not quantum-safe. In fact, the only PAKEs that were quantum-safe were lattice-based. To solve this, BANKEX joined forces with other heavy hitters in the world of cryptography to develop a PAKE with a Diffie-Hellman supersingular isogeny structure in which a password is used to generate functions that obscure auxiliary points used in the computation.
What this means in simpler words is that the PAKEs of the past have been updated in preparation for the upcoming quantum revolution. In fact, the PAKE developed by the team of researchers is resistant to quantum attacks to such an impressive degree that expressing the resistance in terms of qubits, the standard by which quantum computing power is measured, is illogical. Essentially, because of the structure of the new PAKE, the time required to break the encryption is so extensive as to make attempting to hack the system completely unfeasible.
Naturally, the scientists behind this protocol are dedicated to the dissemination of this information. It is not enough for them to hold onto this information for themselves – this development must be shared so the field of cryptography can progress further.
BANKEX, University of Waterloo, InfoSec Global, evolutionQ and the Institute for Quantum Computing want to see this protocol serve as the basis for further larger strides in cryptography, especially in a quantum environment, and so the discoveries have been recorded in an academic article posted on the International Association for Cryptologic Research, an important hub for cryptographers across the world.
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