• Tue. Nov 28th, 2023

    Critical Thought

    Critical thoughts on quantum technologies

    Google Develops New Encryption Technology to Safeguard TLS Connections

    BySam Figg

    Nov 21, 2023
    Google Develops New Encryption Technology to Safeguard TLS Connections

    Google has recently introduced an innovative hybrid key encapsulation mechanism (KEM) aimed at enhancing the security of TLS network connections. This ground-breaking development serves as a robust defense against potential threats posed by quantum computing environments. Google Chrome 116 is set to be equipped with this new technology.

    What is a KEM?

    A KEM, or key encapsulation mechanism, is a method used to establish a shared secret value between two parties. This allows them to securely communicate with one another using symmetric key encryption. It serves as a fundamental step in ensuring the secure exchange of information over a network, including TLS connections.

    Introducing the Hybrid KEM for TLS

    The newly introduced hybrid KEM, known as X25519Kyber768, comprises two cryptographic algorithms. The first algorithm, X25519, employs an elliptic curve approach and is currently utilized for key agreement in establishing secure TLS connections. The second component, Kyber-786, is a quantum-resistant KEM, which was identified by NIST as the most suitable solution for post-quantum cryptography in the previous year.

    Adapting to Quantum Computing

    Google’s decision to adapt its encryption technology to counter potential quantum cryptanalysis is rooted in the belief that current encryption models may be vulnerable to exploitation by quantum computers in the future. By implementing quantum-resistant session keys in TLS connections, Google aims to preemptively protect network traffic against potential quantum attacks.

    Integration into Google Chrome

    Google is taking concrete steps to bolster security by incorporating dedicated encryption technology into Chromium. The new hybrid KEM is expected to debut in Chrome version 116, which will be released in the near future. Users can currently access this technology via a “flag” option in Chrome version 115.


    Q: Why is Google developing a hybrid KEM?
    A: Google is developing the hybrid KEM to address potential security risks posed by quantum computing, which may render current encryption models vulnerable.

    Q: How does the hybrid KEM work?
    A: The hybrid KEM combines two cryptographic algorithms, X25519 and Kyber-786, to establish secure TLS connections.

    Q: When will the hybrid KEM be available?
    A: The hybrid KEM technology will be integrated into Google Chrome version 116, which is scheduled for release soon.

    Q: What is the purpose of quantum-resistant session keys?
    A: Quantum-resistant session keys are designed to protect network traffic against potential future quantum attacks by utilizing advanced encryption methods.

    – [Google Chrome updates](https://www.google.com/chrome/)
    – [NIST post-quantum cryptography recommendations](https://www.nist.gov/quantum-information-science-0)