• Tue. Nov 28th, 2023

    Critical Thought

    Critical thoughts on quantum technologies

    The Future is Here: Google’s Quantum-Resistant Cryptography

    BySam Figg

    Nov 21, 2023
    The Future is Here: Google’s Quantum-Resistant Cryptography

    Google is embracing the potential of quantum computers by preparing for the “quantum apocalypse.” With the rise of this new technology comes concerns about the vulnerability of our existing encryption methods. Experts have long warned that quantum computers could easily breach the security that currently protects our private messages, banking information, and more.

    Quantum computers have the potential to outperform classical computers by a significant margin, offering exciting possibilities in fields like drug research and quantum computing itself. However, this advancement could be catastrophic for security technology that relies on complex mathematical problems to keep data secure. Quantum computers could solve these problems in mere seconds, rendering traditional encryption obsolete.

    This dire scenario is referred to as the “quantum apocalypse” by researchers, and it has sparked the development of a field known as post-quantum cryptography. This field aims to find alternative methods of securing data in anticipation of the arrival of quantum computers.

    Google is taking steps to address this challenge in its popular web browser, Chrome. The latest update includes new cryptography that is resistant to future attacks by quantum computers. This enhanced technology combines two cryptographic algorithms, X25519 and Kyber768, in a hybrid approach. By integrating these algorithms, data is safeguarded by both an established secure algorithm and one specifically designed to withstand quantum attacks.

    These updates are part of a broader effort across Google to “prepare the web for the migration to quantum-resistant cryptography.” While it may be several decades before quantum computers capable of breaking modern encryption emerge, Google recognizes the importance of securing data in the present. Protecting data now ensures that it cannot be stored and later decrypted when the necessary technology becomes available.


    What is the “quantum apocalypse”?
    The quantum apocalypse refers to the potential scenario where quantum computers can undermine current encryption methods, compromising the security of sensitive information.

    What is post-quantum cryptography?
    Post-quantum cryptography is a field aimed at developing encryption techniques that can withstand attacks from powerful quantum computers.

    What cryptographic algorithms does Google use in Chrome?
    Google has integrated X25519 and Kyber768 into its Chrome browser. These algorithms work together to protect data from both classical and quantum computers.

    (Source: Google Chrome Security Blog)