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NIST Seeks Proposals to Address Info Security Threat of Quantum Computers

The National Institute of Standards and Technology wants public input on how to address potential information security threats from quantum computers.

NIST said Tuesday the Post-Quantum Cryptography Standardization effort seeks methods and strategies to mitigate future quantum computer attacks that could potentially break encryption codes used to protect digital information.

“We’re looking to replace three NIST cryptographic standards and guidelines that would be the most vulnerable to quantum computers,” said NIST mathematician Dustin Moody.

The agency plans to engage the public in efforts to gather, test and recommend new algorithms that would be less vulnerable to quantum computer attacks.

NIST will accept proposed algorithms from cryptographers through Nov. 30, 2017, then invite individuals with qualified proposals to present their algorithms at an open workshop in 2018.

The agency will subsequently run an evaluation phase which will take approximately three to five years.

Moody said his team might select more than one post-quantum algorithm that NIST will recommend to replace the three current standards.

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