Future-Proof Data Encryption
RUB security researchers win worldwide NIST standardization process for post-quantum cryptography.
This means that encryption methods developed in Bochum, which even quantum computers cannot crack, will become standard in the USA.
Secure encrypted communication is the basis for a global connected mobile world. However, the closer
quantum computers, ultra-powerful computers, come to a realistic reach, the more tangible the risks to IT
security become. The American National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) has recognized
these risks posed by quantum computers for secure data encryption and started a process to standardize
quantum computer-resistant cryptographic methods in 2016 already.
Research groups from all over the world submitted concepts for new encryption methods, and 15 methods
made it to the finals of the competition. Three out of four of the now finally accepted submissions were
developed by researchers from the Cluster of Excellence CASA "Cyber Security in the Age of Large-Scale Adversaries"
at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB), which has the goal of enabling sustainable IT security against large-scale,
adversaries, in particular nation-state attackers. In doing so, they gained a worldwide recognized standardization
competition that will significantly influence the quantum computer-resistant encryption methods of the future.
European authorities are likely to adopt NIST standardization
NIST is expected to set standards for the USA and Europe with its choice. "The European authorities are
also still examining the procedures selected by NIST, but experience shows that they will agree with the
assessment of their U.S. American colleagues if they do not find any security gaps," says Peter Schwabe.
The reason for this is the encrypted data exchange between US. and European services, which would
otherwise no longer be possible. Even though it will probably be several years before sufficiently large
quantum computers are actually used - future encryption is secure with the methods developed in Bochum.
Algorithms to be standardized at a glance: