Quantum computers are rapidly advancing and are on the verge of becoming widely used. This technological breakthrough brings the promise of new and exciting possibilities, but it also poses a significant threat to traditional cryptography. Cryptography is used to protect sensitive information by transforming it into an unreadable form. However, many of the encryption methods we currently use rely on math problems that are hard for traditional computers to solve but not for quantum computers.
The problem with quantum computers is that they can solve certain types of math problems much faster than regular computers. This means that quantum computers can easily break traditional cryptographic codes, exposing sensitive information to potential attackers. That’s where quantum-safe cryptography comes in.
Quantum-safe cryptography is a new and innovative way to protect the information using math that is resistant to attacks from quantum computers. This method of cryptography relies on new types of math problems that are hard for both regular and quantum computers to solve. This makes it impossible for even the most powerful quantum computer to break the code and read the secret information.
To put it simply, quantum-safe cryptography is like playing hide and seek with a seeker who can teleport. To win the game, we need to find a new kind of hiding spot that even teleportation cannot beat. With quantum-safe cryptography, we can protect sensitive information from the threats posed by quantum computers, ensuring that it remains secure and private.
Should we worry about TLS?
TLS (Transport Layer Security) is a cryptographic protocol used to provide secure communication over the internet. It is based on public-key cryptography, which is one of the encryption methods that will be vulnerable to attacks by quantum computers. As quantum computers are capable of breaking public-key cryptography, there is a risk that TLS could become vulnerable once quantum computers become widely available.
Moreover, there are also efforts to develop post-quantum TLS (PQTLS) protocols that use quantum-safe encryption. PQTLS would provide a secure communication channel even in the presence of quantum computers.
Do we have a solution?
There are several examples of quantum-safe cryptography at the moment of writing this article, few examples
- Lattice-based cryptography: This method of encryption is based on the mathematical concept of a lattice, which is a set of points arranged in a repeating pattern. Lattice-based cryptography is considered to be one of the most promising methods for quantum-safe cryptography because it relies on problems that are believed to be hard even for quantum computers to solve. It is currently being used in several research projects.
- Hash-based cryptography: This method of encryption uses hash functions to create a unique digital fingerprint of a message. Hash-based cryptography is believed to be resistant to attacks from both classical and quantum computers because it is based on the one-way nature of hash functions, which means it is easy to create a hash value from a message, but very difficult to reverse the process and obtain the original message. It is being explored as a potential solution for post-quantum cryptography.
- Code-based cryptography: This method of encryption relies on error-correcting codes to encode messages. Code-based cryptography is also believed to be resistant to attacks from both classical and quantum computers because it relies on problems that are hard to solve even for quantum computers. It is being explored as a potential candidate for post-quantum cryptography.
- Multivariate cryptography: This method of encryption uses mathematical equations that involve multiple variables to create a secure code. Multivariate cryptography is currently being researched as a potential candidate for post-quantum cryptography, but it is not yet widely used. Like the other methods mentioned, it relies on problems that are believed to be hard even for quantum computers to solve.
I will try to write more about the algorithms above as I read and understand more about them in the coming future