NIST Eyes 2022 Release of Initial Algorithm Standard for Quantum-Resistant Cryptography

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The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has selected 15 algorithm submissions for the third phase of a research competition focused on quantum computing-based cryptography.

NIST said Wednesday it narrowed down a pool of 69 proposals for Phase 3 public reviews for the Post-Quantum Cryptography Standardization Process, which seeks to establish algorithms to combat quantum decryption threats.

The Phase 3 selection culminates the three-year effort and is expected to result in a small subset of cryptographic algorithms to support quantum concepts like public-key encryption and digital-signature creation for electronic documents.

“At the end of this round, we will choose some algorithms and standardize them,” said Dustin Moody, a mathematician at NIST. “We intend to give people tools that are capable of protecting sensitive information for the foreseeable future, including after the advent of powerful quantum computers.”

Moody noted that the selected algorithms will fill an interim role for standardization procedures and that NIST plans to “look at newer approaches too.”

NIST expects the review round to run throughout a one-year period ahead of the initial standard’s planned release in 2022.

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