On the Negative Effects of Quantum Computers on Secure Communication and Actions to be Taken

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Quantum computers differ from classical computers in terms of their working principles and hence can run some algorithms exponentially faster than classical computers.

Cryptographic algorithms are the basic building blocks of secure communication. It has been observed that some quantum computers that are likely to be developed in the next decade will pose a danger to many asymmetric algorithms used for key exchange and digital signature. In addition, a similar threat is observed for symmetric algorithms in cases where sufficiently large key sizes are not used.

In the countries that T├╝rkiye has secure communications with for various reasons, especially for the critical information processing institutions, we strongly recommend various actions considering this threat in the communication of information that is not desired to be disclosed for a period of 15 years or more.

Measures on the subject have been examined by T├ťB─░TAK B─░LGEM National Electronics and Cryptology Research Institute and the following recommendations are offered to the relevant institutions, organizations, and companies:

  1. Quantum key distribution method: Considering the theoretical maturity, safety, efficiency, and cost, this method is not recommended by our institution at the moment.
  2. Post-quantum (a.k.a. quantum-resistant) algorithms and other cryptographic methods have been investigated by  our institution and the following actions are recommended as soon as possible (especially in the next 5 years):
    1. We recommend preferring the algorithms to be used for symmetric encryption with a key size of 256-bit.
    2. When using asymmetric algorithms, we recommend using at least one of the pre-shared symmetric key or post-quantum algorithms together with classical asymmetric algorithms (as a hybrid solution).
    3. If post-quantum algorithms are preferred; considering the criteria such as theoretical maturity, safety, effectiveness, cost, and simplicity, the methods such as Crystals-Kyber, FrodoKEM, Crystals-Dilithium, and Sphincs+, which have reached a certain maturity in the literature, or national methods are recommended.

To the attention of the public, with our respect...


National Electronics and Cryptology Research Institute

16 June 2022

Contact: pqc@tubitak.gov.tr