White House: Quantum computers could crack encryption, so here's what we need to do

The White House has announced a set of proposals for keeping the US ahead of quantum computing race globally, while mitigating the risk of quantum computers that can break public-key cryptography. 

Quantum computers powerful enough to break public-key encryption are still years away, but when it happens, they could be a major threat to national security, financial and private data. 

Some projects like OpenSSH have implemented mitigations for the event that an attacker steals encrypted data today with the hope decrypting it when such a computer exists, but so far there are no official US standards for quantum-resistant cryptography. The Biden administration’s memorandum outlines its desire for the US to maintain its leaderships in quantum information science (QIS) as well as a rough timeline and responsibilities for federal agencies to migrate most of the US’s cryptographic systems to quantum-resistant cryptography. 

There’s no hard deadline for the post-quantum cryptographic migration, but the White House wants the US to migrate cryptographic systems to ones that are resistant to a ‘cryptanalytically’ relevant quantum computer (CRQC), with the aim of “mitigating as much of the quantum risk as is feasible” by 2035. 

“Any digital system that uses existing public

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