Quantum News Briefs: December 22, 2023: NIST Seeking Comment on Post-Quantum Crypto Migration Practice Guides; The quantum phantom, and MORE!
Quantum News Briefs: December 22, 2023:
NIST Seeking Comment on Post-Quantum Crypto Migration Practice Guides
The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) has released two preliminary draft practice guides to aid in the migration to post-quantum cryptography (PQC). Open for public comment until February 20, 2024, these documents, “Quantum Readiness: Cryptographic Discovery” and “Quantum Readiness: Testing Draft Standards,” are part of an initiative to prepare for the quantum computing era. The first guide focuses on using cryptographic tools to detect security vulnerabilities in digital networks and outlines scenarios for successful post-quantum system migration. It aims to assist organizations in assessing the risk of current cryptographic algorithms and discover where cryptographic products are used. The second guide addresses integrating quantum-resilient algorithms with existing network infrastructure and resolving compatibility issues. This effort, initiated by NCCoE in 2021, is crucial as experts anticipate that quantum-based systems, expected within 10 to 20 years, could break all known encryption methods used in unclassified systems. This migration to PQC is a priority for the Biden administration, to achieve a post-quantum future by 2035.
In Other News: Science article: “The quantum phantom”
A recent Science article is set in Santa Barbara, California, where scientists are on a quest to approximate the elusive Majorana particle, a concept first proposed by physicist Ettore Majorana in 1937. This particle, unique in being its antiparticle, could revolutionize quantum computing by making quantum computers more practical and robust. Researchers from Google, Microsoft, and the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) are at the forefront, each employing different methods to engineer this quasiparticle. Google is attempting to engineer the quasiparticle on supercooled chips, Microsoft is working on luring it to the ends of nanowires, and UCSB is trying to trap it using pencil lead and Scotch tape. Despite numerous attempts and significant investment, the field has faced setbacks with contentious false alarms and a mix of corporate and academic interests. However, researchers remain optimistic about being on the cusp of a breakthrough in harnessing the Majorana particle, potentially leading to significant advancements in quantum computing technology.
In Other News: Investor Place article: “Big Cash or Big Crash? Anything’s Possible With IonQ Stock”
According to an Investor Place article, IonQ (NYSE: IONQ), a company specializing in quantum computing, is currently unprofitable with a widening net earnings loss. Despite this, IonQ has made a significant stride by making its advanced quantum computer system available through Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Braket Direct program, a part of Amazon Web Services (AWS). This move could potentially increase IonQ’s visibility and lead to further collaborations with Amazon. However, IonQ’s financial health remains a concern, as highlighted in their third-quarter 2023 earnings report, which showed an increase in revenue but also a substantial rise in the cost of revenue and a deepening net loss. The company’s stock, IONQ, is known for its high volatility, making it a risky investment that may not be suitable for conservative investors. Risk-tolerant investors, however, might consider taking a small position in IonQ, given the potential of quantum computing as an AI-adjacent technology with significant future rewards. Nonetheless, investors are advised to conduct thorough due diligence and be prepared for potential volatility in the stock.