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Post-quantum cryptography: long-term confidentiality and integrity for communication

Tanja Lange

Eindhoven Institute for the Protection of Systems and Information

ABSTRACT: This talk presents the motivation behind the currently ongoing workshop "Post-Quantum Cryptography and Quantum Algorithms". Essentially all cryptosystems currently used on the internet and in smart cards has a public-key component which will be broken by quantum computers. While a public announcement of a big enough quantum computer might still be more than 15 years away, we need to take attacks by quantum computers into account when deciding on what cryptosystems to choose today. An attacker might record all public information today and break it once he has the quantum computer; if information needs to stay confidential for more than 15 years this is obviously a problem. Furthermore, optimizing, implementing, and standardizing a cryptosystem so that it is ready for deployment takes years of effort; this is a problem for both confidentiality and integrity. Post-quantum cryptography studies systems that remain secure against against attacks using quantum computers. Open problems are to find systems that are competitive with the currently used systems in terms of speed and key size and to determine the exact complexity of quantum algorithms breaking them.