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Quantum and Post-Quantum Cryptography

Recent years have prompted research into

quantum computers. Quantum computers have been the subject of controversy due

to their abilities to solve complex mathematical phenomena that have been

primarily developed as the basis of information encryption .Given that these

large quantum computers are built, they shall inevitably compromise the key

cryptosystem that is currently in use. This would jeopardize the

confidentiality presently enjoyed by digital communication and internet users

worldwide. The primary objective of post-quantum cryptography is to create

cryptographic systems that can interoperate with existing communication

protocols. This paper shall look into common cryptographic topics and reflect

the effect of post cryptographic quantum computing on common information

encryption.

Quantum key distribution

Quantum key distribution is indeed a

successful application to cryptography, quantum information that utilizes the quantum

mechanics theory to secure data (Quantum.ukzn.ac.za.). Quantum key

distribution generates a random key between two points over an insecure

network. Quantum key distribution is founded on the following principles; the

superposition principle and the Heisenberg’s principle. A one- time pad encryption scheme is created

and implemented using the securely distributed quantum key. A great protocol of quantum key distribution is

the “BB84” protocol in which single qubits are chosen randomly from {???, ???, ???, ???} states and sent. QKD

provides that the key submitted is only used once. This eliminates chances of

prediction from the sender-receiver or the eavesdropper. Hence Quantum key

distribution guarantees reliable security over an insecure channel unlike in

post-quantum cryptography whose key algorithms’ security rely on hard

mathematical problems and the ability of a quantum computer, one that

preferably runs Shor’s algorithm, to solve them.

Symmetric cryptography & Symmetric key

management systems and protocols

Cryptography

involves the process of making messages non-readable by encoding them.

Cryptographic algorithms are grouped into symmetric and asymmetric encryptions.

The Symmetric encryption makes use of

the same key during encryption and decryption processes.

A crucial problem in

symmetric key cryptography the key distribution. The key distribution must

happen secretly. However key sharing can happen in one some ways; a trusted

third party could get involved in sharing the key with the recipient.

Alternatively, the sender can physically deliver the key to the receiver. Equally,

if the communicators have previously used a key, they can communicate the new

key through encryption using the old key. This option is however risky since an

eavesdropper can gain access to the old key and equally get access to the new key there hence.

Hash functions

A cryptographic hash

function receives an input (message) computes it to produce a fixed-size alphanumeric

response. The response is referred to as a hash value or a digital fingerprint.

Hash functions are; easy to calculate for any given data. The alphanumeric text

provided from the hash function for any given message is impossible to compute

for those with a given hash. Another property that hash functions have is

uniqueness (Strongauth.com.). It is doubtful that

different messages shall have a common has to value. However with the

development of quantum computers, it is very likely that using the hash value,

the initial message could be computed and derived successfully. This would in a

high magnitude compromise the integrity of information passed over an insecure

channel. Other practical applications that use hash functions such as digital

signatures and authentication also face an integrity threat following the

development post-quantum cryptography.

Public key

cryptography

Public key

cryptography (asymmetric encryption) utilizes two mathematical non-identical

keys. The two keys involved are a public and a public key. Each of these two

keys has different roles; the public key encrypts while the private key decrypts

(Strongauth.com.). Private keys can

however not be computed from public keys. Public keys are therefore shared

hence allowing users a convenient content encryption platform. Given that the

public keys have to be shared, they are stored on digital certificates to

facilitate an efficient and secure sharing. Users, therefore, have them at

their disposal for encryption during information sharing. However, only the

users of private keys can decrypt the information.

Shor’s algorithm

Shor’s

algorithm was developed by a mathematician known as Peter Shor. His innovation

brought about a quantum algorithm for integer factorization. All it takes is one post cryptography quantum

machine with enough qubits to solve quantum gates for 0((log N) 2(log log N) (log log log N)) without giving in to noise like contemporary computers (wini). For this reason, therefore, these quantum

computers can break public key cryptography which is based on Shor’s

algorithm. The public key encryption is

pegged on a principle huge numbers are computationally impractical. This thought is however only valid for

classical computers. The development of quantum computers withstanding,

software developers need to reach common ground with mechatronic engineers in

developing computing systems that shall not compromise the integrity of information

reliance and computing.

Works

cited

Anon, (2017). online

Available at: Post-quantum cryptography:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-quantum_cryptography

http://www.pqcrypto.org/ Accessed 10 Dec. 2017.

Globalsign.com.

(2017). What Is Public-Key Cryptography?. online Available at:

https://www.globalsign.com/en/ssl-information-center/what-is-public-key-cryptography/

Accessed 10 Dec. 2017.

Goodin, D. (2017). NSA

preps quantum-resistant algorithms to head off crypto-apocalypse. online

Ars Technica. Available at:

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2015/08/nsa-preps-quantum-resistant-algorithms-to-head-off-crypto-apocolypse/

Accessed 10 Dec. 2017.

Quantum.ukzn.ac.za.

(2017). Quantum Key Distribution — Centre for Quantum Technology. online

Available at: http://quantum.ukzn.ac.za/research/quantum-key-distribution

Accessed 10 Dec. 2017.

Rich, S., Gellman, B.,

Rich, S. and Gellman, B. (2017). NSA seeks to build quantum computer

that could crack most types of encryption. online Washington Post.

Available at:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/nsa-seeks-to-build-quantum-computer-that-could-crack-most-types-of-encryption/2014/01/02/8fff297e-7195-11e3-8def-a33011492df2_story.html?Post+generic=%3Ftid%3Dsm_twitter_washingtonpost

Accessed 10 Dec. 2017.

Strongauth.com.

(2017). Cite a Website – Cite This For Me. online Available at:

https://www.strongauth.com/pdf/Noor_Symmetric_Key_Management_Systems-1.pdf

Accessed 10 Dec. 2017

wini J, Y. (2017). Key

Distribution for Symmetric Key Cryptography: A Review.