No One Gets Quantum Computing, Least Of All America’s National Institute of Standards and Technology

Source: The Register No One Gets Quantum Computing, Least Of All America’s National Institute of Standards and Technology

Now Witness The power Of This Fully Aged Xeon and One Operational Core

The only good news about America’s National Institute of Standards and Technology new Supersingular Isogeny Key Encapsulation, designed to be unbreakable by a quantum computer, is that it was subjected to extra testing before it became one of their four new quantum encryption algorithms.   As it turns out, two Belgians named Wouter Castryck and Thomas Decru were able to break the Microsoft SIKE in under five minutes using a Intel Xeon CPU E5-2630v2 at 2.60GHz.

Indeed, they did it with a single core, which makes sense for security researchers well aware of the risks of running multithreaded; though why they stuck with a 22nm Ivy Bridge processor almost 10 years old is certainly a question.  What makes even less sense is that encryption designed to resist quantum computing could be cracked by a traditional piece of silicon before the heat death of the universe.   

This particular piece of quantum encryption has four parameter sets, called SIKEp434, SIKEp503, SIKEp610 and SIKEp751.   The $50,000 bounty winners were able to crack SIKEp434 parameters in about 62 minutes.  Two related instances, $IKEp182 and $IKEp217 they were able to crack in about 4 minutes and 6 minutes respectively.   There are three other quantum encryption standards proposed along with this one, so there is some hope that they will be useful … for now at least.

If you would like to read more about quantum computing, encryption as well as Richelot isogenies and abelian surfaces then read on at The Register.

Microsoft – whose research team played a role in the algorithm's development along with multiple universities, Amazon, Infosec Global and Texas Instruments – set up a $50,000 bounty for anyone who could crack it.

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About The Author

Jeremy Hellstrom

Call it,, or PC Perspective, Jeremy has been hanging out and then working with the gang here for years. Apart from the front page you might find him on the BOINC Forums or possibly the Fraggin' Frogs if he has the time.

1 Comment

  1. Tarrasik

    One would assume that NIST and MS actually tested the algorithms with a quantum computer before posting the challenge. If so, then we have the paradox of an algorithm that can be beaten with a very old, single Xeon core, but unbreakable using a quantum ‘core’.

    Pretty embarrassing for NIST and MS.


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