On August 11th, the National Security Agency (NSA) announced their preliminary plans for transitioning to quantum resistant algorithms and away from the Suite B cryptographic algorithms specified by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). They even said that vendors that haven’t yet switched to Suite B algorithms should not do so at this point and use their resources “to prepare for the upcoming quantum resistant algorithm transition.” They then went on to say “Unfortunately, the growth of elliptic curve use has bumped up against the fact of continued progress in the research on quantum computing, necessitating a re-evaluation of our cryptographic strategy.”
I laud the NSA for this public recognition of the quantum computing threat. Quantum computing is a real threat to the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) that is in place today and needs to be addressed.
For those of you not familiar with the threat, quantum computers are able to execute Shor’s Algorithm, which has been proven to be able to break RSA and ECC, the two most popular crypto algorithms used in PKI and digital signatures.
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