Hackers are stealing data today, so quantum computers can crack it in ten years

Dustin Moody, a mathematician at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), said: “The threat of nation-state opponents acquiring large quantum computers and being able to access your information is real.” “The threat is. They copy your encrypted data and keep it until they have a quantum computer.”

Faced with this “harvest before decryption” strategy, officials are trying to develop and deploy new encryption algorithms to protect secrets from a new class of powerful machines. These include the Department of Homeland Security, which says it is leading a long and difficult transition to so-called post-quantum cryptography.

“We don’t want to end up in a situation where we wake up in the morning and discover a technological breakthrough, and then we have to complete three or four years of work within a few months-all the additional risks associated with these are cybersecurity and emerging Said Tim Maurer, who advises the Secretary of Homeland Security.

The Department of Homeland Security recently released a route map For the transition, the first call is to catalog the most sensitive data within the government and the business world. Maurer said this is an important first step in “understanding which departments are already doing this and which departments need help or awareness to ensure they take immediate action.”

Prepare in advance

Experts say that quantum computers may still take ten years or more to complete anything useful, but with China and the United States investing heavily in this area, this race is being realized-and designing better quantum protection measures to attack .

The United States has always held it through NIST competition According to Moody’s, who leads the NIST post-quantum cryptography project, since 2016, its goal is to produce the first quantum computer proof algorithm by 2024.

Transitioning to the new cryptography is a notoriously tricky and long task, and it can easily be overlooked until it’s too late. It may be difficult for for-profit organizations to spend money on abstract future threats years before the threat becomes a reality.

“If the organization is not thinking about transition now,” Maurer said, “then when the NIST process is completed and a sense of urgency arises, they will be overwhelmed, which increases the risk of unexpected events… Transition is never a good one idea.”

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