Google Is Trying to Protect Chrome from Quantum Computers

Google Is Trying to Protect Chrome from Quantum Computers

Right now, state-of-the-art encryption methods are most likely strong enough to keep private data, well, private, but things might change in the future if large quantum computers will actually become a reality. According to a Google software engineer named Matt Braithwaite, quantum computers can take advantage of certain quantum mechanics in order to solve specific problems much faster when compared to conventional computers, especially when it comes to problems related to securing digital communications. In theory, if a large quantum computer would be built, it could very well crack the cryptographic primitives used in TLS, which means that pretty much any encrypted Internet communications recorded today could be decrypted in the future.

Even though there’s no guarantee that such a powerful computer would ever be built in the next decades, Google has decided to conduct some experiments with post-quantum cryptography. Braithwaite has revealed that a current Chrome experiment analyzes a series of connections between desktop Chrome and Google’s servers, and these connections use a mix of a new post-quantum key-exchange algorithm called New Hope and a regular elliptic-curve key-exchange algorithm. By allowing these two algorithms to work together, Google hopes to conduct a fruitful experiment without impacting regular users in any way. Interestingly enough, New Hope won’t be around for long because Google plans to discontinue it within two years in order to replace it with something even better.

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