Google “Quantum Supremacy” Report Heightens Need for XOTIC Encryption
The recent leaked report from Google claims that the technology giant has achieved a monumental quantum benchmark, and the implications for today’s data security are devastating. According to an Independent September 23 article, “Google ‘Achieves Quantum Supremacy’, Report Claims,” the paper titled “Quantum Supremacy Using a Programmable Superconducting Processor” reveals Google’s quantum processor completed in 200 seconds a task that today’s supercomputers would need 10,000 years to accomplish.
“This dramatic speedup relative to all known classical algorithms provides an experimental realization of quantum supremacy on a computational task and heralds the advent of a much-anticipated computing paradigm,” the leaked document states. “To our knowledge, this experiment marks the first computation that can only be performed on a quantum processor.”
The Post-Quantum Age was believed to be approximately a decade away, giving organizations and individuals the illusion of a lengthy “buffer period” before their data would be in danger. It has been known that antagonistic nation states have invested huge sums into storage that houses encrypted data intercepted through communications and hacking. Their goal is to shatter the outdated ciphers upon the introduction of quantum computing.
A September 30 article on Dark Reading, “’Harvesting Attacks’ & the Quantum Revolution,” states that nations like China are stockpiling intercepted encrypted data. The article states, “Encryption protects everything from classified data to the operations of power plants, water supplies, and financial trading systems. Once quantum computers are available, not only will the most critical data be exposed, but quantum-powered attacks will be able to interfere with important cyber-controlled processes as well. Cloaked secrets will be revealed and physical equipment will be manipulated remotely.”
The threats of quantum computing are even more dire than first thought. The cybersecurity community has been developing encryption solutions on the theory that quantum computing’s qubits increase a system’s processing ability exponentially with every additional qubit. However, according to the Independent article, computer scientists at Google’s quantum labs “observed that their systems were gaining power at a ‘doubly exponential’ rate.” A June 27 Independent article, “Quantum Computing Breakthrough Means Google Could Be Very Close To Revealing Revolutionary Machine,” claims that Google’s quantum progress was “so unfathomably fast that there is nothing that grows as quickly in the natural world to make a comparison to.”
Until these recent reports, the accepted minimum symmetric encryption strength to survive in a post-quantum reality has been the AES-256 standard. The revelation of quantum computing’s true “doubly exponential” power reduces the AES-256 effectiveness to a 128-bit strength. Developers at Secure Channels Inc. have long attested that a minimum key length of 512 bits is necessary to withstand the unpredictable impact of quantum computing. Such foresight led to the XOTIC cryptosystem. With a 512-bit “bottom floor,” XOTIC can efficiently be dialed to key lengths beyond 16,000 bits to armor data well into the post-quantum age.
– KU Leuven University
“The large key size of the XOTIC encryption algorithm results in a large security margin. In order to break the XOTIC cipher attackers would need insurmountable computing power which nobody will be able to demonstrate in our life time or come up with new, effective attacking methods which nobody has demonstrated to be close to having at this point of time.”
– Cryptographers: Dr. Lars R. Knudsen, Professor Department of Mathematics, Technical University of Denmark & Dr. Bart Preneel, Professor at Katholieke University Leuven
“Furthermore, the key sizes considered remain extremely high: we do not foresee the brute-force search to become a threat of any practical importance, even when the dial is minimum.”
– Dr. Leo Perrin and Dr. Alex Biryukov
– Jonathan Katz, Vice President of Cryptography Engineering, Secure Channels Inc.; Professor Computer Sciences, University of Maryland; Ph.D. Computer Science, Columbia University
“(PKMS2’s) segmentation significantly improves security against message recovery attacks.”
– Yevgeniy Dodis; Professor, Computer Science, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, NYU; Ph.D Computer Science, M.I.T.
“These results provide confidence that the PKMS2 protocol is secure under a strong threat model, even against an attacker with significant resources.”
– Mathew Green; Assistant Professor, Computer Science, The Johns Hopkins University; Ph.D. Computer Science, The Johns Hopkins University