Google Gears Up to Guard Future Encryptions with Post-Quantum Cryptography

July 12, 2016, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Google is not just concerned about the present. They have their eyes fixed on a world that’s way ahead in time; a world that could be deeply threatened by quantum computers. But that shouldn’t be a worry, as the company is already testing measures to counter that very threat.

Tech world today depends heavily on encryption to offer a secure window of communication in cyber world. Almost every communication between a server and a computer now take place in encrypted format. But these hold a potential vulnerability to quantum computing, which is however only an experimental technology as of now.

Like the name implies, quantum computing is all based on quantum physics, dealing with sub-atomic particles. With that said, we are keeping ourselves off from going deep down with the technology.

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In short, quantum computing deals with quantum bits instead of bits, which are the smallest unit of data used by current computers. Or in other words, these are sub-bit data that can encode more complex information, which makes it easier to perform functions that might seem too demanding for modern computers, like cracking down the digital keys used for current encryption techniques.

This mode of computing is still waiting to get out of its theoretical form, but Google is not willing to wait for the technology to evolve so as to tackle it down. They have now revealed their first step in offering safe browsing in the future that would be void of quantum computing threats.

It’s called New Hope, a post-quantum cryptography technology that will arrive at some point later in Chrome browsers to unhitch quantum attacks from connections traversing through Google servers.

Google’s New Hope deals with post-quantum encryption algorithms, which are designed to be enormously hard for quantum computers to crack down. The technology was created by cryptography researchers Erdem Alkim, Léo Ducas, Thomas Pöppelmann and Peter Schwabe. Google says that it will begin its testing of New Hope by merging it with current standards so that data remains protected even if their tests shows negative results.

Like mentioned before, we are still far away from facing any such threat from quantum computers, as it would require quantum computers to surge in bulk amounts like the way computer exist in the modern world. But like always, prevention is better than cure.

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