(PortSwigger.net) The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced that 26 potential algorithms have advanced to the post-quantum cryptography ‘semi-finals’ of its competition to develop encryption tools which could one day protect against quantum computers. NIST has narrowed the field of schemes that could protect sensitive data stored on mainstream PCs, servers, and smartphones.
Quantum computers may still be years away but that doesn’t mean that developing algorithms to protect secrets in a post-quantum world can be sidelined or put off indefinitely. NIST will allow the submitting teams to tweak their specifications and implementations before a March 15 deadline. The second phase of evaluation and review is expected to last between 12-18 months. If anything, the field of post-quantum cryptography is more advanced than quantum computing.