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evolutionQ v Super Threat

By Brian Siegelwax posted 04 Jul 2024

Since the discovery of Shor’s Factoring Algorithm, ironically, the world has become astronomically more reliant on the public-key cryptography it threatens. The problem is that global communication has made the courier keys of the early 1990s thoroughly impractical. Organizations were just starting to go digital back then, so couriers could physically deliver the keys (“out-of-band”) that would then be used to encrypt their primary communication (“in-band”). But imagine trying to do that today, and sending couriers to everywhere in the world where there are people you want to communicate with.

Public-key cryptography was a solution to the problem of globalization. A public key can be shared all around via the Internet and used to encrypt messages. The downside is that the public key is public. In principle, the associated private key is needed to decrypt these messages. But if a sufficiently powerful quantum computer could factorize the public key, its private key would be compromised and the messages would no longer be secure.

We can’t go back to the 1990s, as much as we might wish today’s music would. evolutionQ has identified three things that a modern, practical solution needs: 1) resilience, reducing the risk of compromised keys, 2) agility, the ability to repair cryptographic systems quickly, and 3) impact, minimizing the damage incurred by compromised keys. An in-depth cryptographic defense is necessary, because losses are not recoverable.


To avoid reverting back to courier keys, two popular alternatives are quantum key distribution (QKD) and post-quantum cryptography (PQC). MultimodalKES is compatible with both, but depends on neither. The keys need to be truly-random, potentially from quantum random number generators (QRNG), but they don’t have to be quantum. The protocol relies on key distribution hubs (KDH).

Instead of pre-sharing keys with the entire world, which just isn’t feasible, endpoints efficiently pre-share one truly-random key with one KDH. That’s it. The KDHs are trusted for a finite time to create endpoint-to-endpoint connections. Thanks to all-to-all connectivity, these connections never require the involvement of more than two KDHs.

Communication does not flow through the KDHs. They’re only used for Alice and Bob to exchange private keys, and then Alice and Bob will communicate through their primary networks. The KDH network can be thought of as straws with encrypted keys flowing through them.

The protocol doesn’t assume that this network is secure. In fact, it assumes the exact opposite. The key is presumed to be vulnerable in every possible way, and it needs to be protected.

Anti-Superman Batsuit

In the movie “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” Batman wears a Tactical Batsuit that includes armor plates to protect against ballistic attacks and leather to absorb impacts. That’s fine against the Joker, the common street thug, and even the ‘roid monster Bane, but fighting Superman requires additional protection. To fight the Man of Steel, Batman wears a second layer; he wears the heavily-armored Mechanical Batsuit on top of the Tactical Batsuit.

Save Martha

Imagine a scenario in which Alice leaves her laptop unattended on a coffee shop table for a few minutes while she waits online to place her order. When she returns to her table, her laptop is gone. evolutionQ has anticipated a wide range of issues and bound the damage.

In the short-term, yes, damage can be incurred. Past sessions can be compromised, as well. But once the compromise is detected, the bleeding stops. Past sessions can no longer be compromised, either. Once approved, the protocol quickly recovers and allows Alice and Bob to re-establish secure communication.


There is a Justice League story in which Batman has developed contingency plans for every superhero – including Superman – just in case they become corrupted somehow. MultimodalKES is paranoid, in a similar kind of way, and perhaps even moreso. After all, evolutionQ assumes attackers are sufficiently motivated to get your data that your data is as good as compromised. The Injustice storyline has occurred, and Superman needs to be feared.

The protocol requires not one, not two, but three keys to be broken. It assumes physical systems, even within data centers, will be compromised, and it is prepared to deactivate those keys and limit the potential for damage. But damage can be incurred by blocking communication, so it is prepared to quickly re-establish secure communication. It’s even thinking about the future and Shor’s Factoring Algorithm, and it’s compatible with all of its quantum and post-quantum countermeasures.

Batman is only human. He can make mistakes. What makes him special – hence the analogy here – is that he has a contingency plan for everything.

Tags: Batman, evoluitonQ, Public-key cryptography, secure, Shor's Factoring Algorithm

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