Tech giants like Microsoft are putting a lot of R&D into quantum computing and see it as a major part of our technological future. As quantum computing moves into scalable reality through platforms such as Azure Quantum, there are concerns over security. Specifically, how super-powerful quantum machines will be able to break through modern encryption technologies.
In an effort to prepare and have quantum-ready protection, Cloudflare has published the results of a recent positive experiment.
The company is rolling out an experiment called “post-quantum” that allows website admins to add support for two agreements: X25519Kyber512Draft00 and X25519Kyber768Draft00. These will function alongside current encryption methods to ensure compatibility and functionality on quantum computers.
This is a preparation experiment. Because it is preparing for a quantum future, the agreements do not really do anything at the moment. They are not supported by any web browser, so they offer no current encryption benefits.
“If you enroll your website to the post-quantum beta, we will add support for these two extra key agreements alongside the existing classical encryption schemes such as X25519. If your browser doesn’t support these post-quantum key agreements (and none at the time of writing do), then your browser will continue working with a classically secure, but not quantum-resistant, connection.”
Preparing for a Quantum Future
However, in the future when quantum-resistant encryption is needed, the agreements are in place and waiting. Cloudflare says an online shift to quantum cryptography is coming in the next few years, so this experiment allows customers to be ready.
The company calls the cryptography Kyber, and it has already been standardized by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Cloudflare is expected to finalize the specifications of the cryptography in 2024.
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