NIST announces first group of encryption tools to protect against quantum computer cyber attacks

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has selected the first group of algorithms that are designed to withstand a possible quantum computer attack. In doing so, NIST is trying to anticipate the needs of US industry and the public, and that quantum computers could be powerful enough to break current encryption standards and pose a very significant threat to information systems. The institute detailed that its four selected encryption algorithms will become part of a post-quantum cryptographic standard expected to be finalised in about two years. All of the algorithms have been developed by experts collaborating from a number of countries and institutions. They are divided into:
  • algorithms for general encryption, used to access secure websites;
  • algorithms for digital signatures, used to verify identity during a digital transaction or to sign documents remotely.
Four additional standards may join the post-quantum standard. NIST plans to announce them in the near future.