NATO cybersecurity center finishes tests of quantum-proof network

By IQT News posted 03 Mar 2022

(ZDNet) , writes about the the NATO Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) completion of a test run of secure communication flows that could withstand attackers using quantum computing. Inside Quantum Technology summarizes below:
The NCSC, which is run by the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency), protects NATO networks around the clock and works with UK company Post-Quantum to conduct the test. Allied Command Transformation’s VISTA framework financed the project.
Konrad Wrona, principal scientist at the NCSC, explained, “Securing NATO’s communications for the quantum era is paramount to our ability to operate effectively without fear of interception,” Wrona said.
Wrona said the NCSC does not have a follow-on contract with Post-Quantum but sees the potential of technologies like what Post-Quantum offers and will continue to look into the technology.
Andersen Cheng, CEO of Post-Quantum, called Post-Quantum a ‘Hybrid Post-Quantum VPN’ because it combines both new post-quantum and traditional encryption algorithms. Cheng said that because it will take many years for the world to completely migrate to a “quantum-safe” future, it is more realistic to combine these new algorithms with better understood traditional encryption in order to ensure interoperability.
Cheng founded Post-Quantum 12 years ago and said his team had spent a decade developing encryption capable of withstanding a quantum attack. His team has focused on building useable commercial grade ‘quantum-safe’ products like the Hybrid VPN system NATO tested.
“Our encryption algorithm NTS-KEM (now known as Classic McEliece, after merging with the submission from renowned cryptographer Professor Daniel Bernstein and his team), is now the only ‘code-based’ finalist in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) process to identify a cryptographic standard to replace RSA and Elliptic Curve, for public-key cryptography (PKC). We’ve also designed a new specification for a quantum-safe VPN as part of the Internet Engineering Taskforce (IETF),” Cheng said.

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