Emmanuel Macron posted two tweets about a “diplomatic telegram in post-quantum cryptography”. This term refers to new, more secure algorithms that should withstand the impending revolution of the quantum computer.
This Thursday, Emmanuel Macron said in a tweet that France transmitted its first post-quantum diplomatic telegram. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also published a statement more detailed. If for some it is an obscure jargon, this news hides a scientific advance which will have an impact on all communications through the Internet.
The algorithms of encryptionencryption protect all exchanges that need to remain secret, including banking transactions, secure access to websites and the exchange of encrypted messages, including in instant messengers such as Signal and WhatsAppWhatsApp. They are so secure that even with a supercomputersupercomputerit would take longer than the current age of theUniverseUniverse to break the protection and reveal the content of an encrypted message.
Security threatened by quantum computers
Despite this, a real race against time is being played out in the world of cryptography to develop new algorithms. The next revolution in the world of computing will be the quantum computer. These machines will be able to perform calculations at vitessevitesse much higher than current computing, and will be able to decrypt encrypted data fairly quickly.
Symmetric ciphers and asymmetricasymmetric will both be affected. Symmetric encryption uses a single key to encrypt and decrypt protected data, which must therefore be communicated to everyone who needs access to it. For this one, the solution is quite simple. Simply increase the key size without changing the algorithm to protect the data. It is asymmetric encryption that will be particularly vulnerable to quantum computers. It is based on two keys, one private and one public. The public keypublic key of the recipient is used to encrypt the data sent to him, and only his private keyprivate key allows them to be deciphered. This method is used for secure exchanges, including instant messaging.
A new standard for secure exchanges
This is where the message from the President of the Republic comes in. Post-quantum cryptography refers to new encryption algorithms that are resistant toquantum computerquantum computer. Moreover, their operation does not imply the use of a quantum computer, they can be implemented on all our current devices. This ” post-quantum cryptography is based on a solution developed by CryptoNext Security, a start-upstart-up from Inria, CNRS and Paris-Sorbonne University.
The message was sent on November 30 and encrypted using Crystals-Dilithium algorithms, selected in particular by the NISTNIST (American standardization organization), and Frodo-Kem, one of several selected by the National Agency for Information Systems Security (ANSSI). The chosen algorithms will certainly be integrated into a future standard, which the government wishes to deploy quickly. The press release states that “ the French Government will present, by the end of the first quarter of 2023, a first action plan, integrating a methodology and a timetable for the migration to post-quantum cryptography of these critical infrastructures ».