Research published this week in Nature explains how an international team of researchers from the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and France have, for the first time, experimentally implemented a type of quantum cryptography considered to be the 'ultimate,' 'bug-proof' means of communication.
Existing implementations of 'quantum key distribution' (QKD) rely on communicating between 'trusted' quantum devices (and thus offers the potential for quantum hacking). The newly demonstrated approach allows secure communication between devices without needing to know much about them. This important breakthrough paves the way for secure cryptography for real-world devices, and for further quantum information applications based on a principle of device-independence.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology recently chose new cryptographic algorithms to defend against quantum computers.
In a recent National Security Memo (NSM-10), the White House acknowledged the need for immediacy in addressing the threat of quantum computers to our current cryptographic systems and mandated agencies to comply with its initial plans to prepare. It's the first directive that mandates specific actions for agencies as they begin a very long and complex migration to quantum-resistant cryptography. Many of the actions required of agencies depend on new cryptographic algorithms that have just been chosen by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, although final standardization will take 18 to 24 months.
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