SMS scnews item created by Larissa Fedunik-Hofman at Tue 16 Aug 2022 1631
Expiry: 15 Feb 2023
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Quantum encryption algorithm cracked in minutes by computer running Magma
A cryptosystem that was meant to withstand decryption by powerful quantum computers that may
be developed in the future has been cracked by a single computer running a Magma program.
Read the full story on the Sydney Mathematical Research Institute's
Magma is a large software system for computing with abstract mathematical objects that has
been developed by University of Sydney mathematicians together with mathematicians from other countries.
Quantum-resistant cryptography aims to develop encryption systems that are secure against
both classical computers and quantum computers that may come into use in the future.
The cryptosystem in question is SIKE (Supersingular Isogeny Key Encapsulation), whose
resistance to being broken is being tested by the United States Department of Commerce’s
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
New research by Wouter Castryck and Thomas Decru in Belgium produced an algorithm that can
quickly solve Supersingular Isogeny Diffie-Hellman (SIDH), the hard problem that underpins
SIKE. An implementation of the algorithm in Magma by Castryck and Decru was able to crack
hard challenge test examples using a single computer in a matter of minutes.
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