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Encryption Meant to Protect Against Quantum Hackers Is Easily Cracked

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Even encrypted data might be vulnerable to quantum computer hackers.

Credit: Sergii Iaremenko/Science Photo Library/Alamy

Ward Beullens at IBM Research Zurich in Switzerland easily cracked a cryptography algorithm touted as one of three contenders for a global standard against quantum hacking.

Rainbow is a signature algorithm submitted to the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)'s Post-Quantum Cryptography competition, and Beullens extracted Rainbow's secret key from a public key in just 53 hours on a standard laptop.

He said this flaw would enable attackers to wrongfully "prove" they are someone else, rendering Rainbow "useless" for message verification.

NIST's Dustin Moody said the Rainbow hack had been confirmed, and the algorithm will not likely be selected as the final signature algorithm.

From New Scientist
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