Post-quantum cryptography

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Post-quantum cryptography refers to research on cryptographic primitives (usually public-key cryptosystems) that are not efficiently breakable using quantum computers more than classical computer architectures. This term came about because most currently popular public-key cryptosystems rely on the integer factorization problem or discrete logarithm problem, both of which would be easily solvable on large enough quantum computers using Shor's algorithm.[1][2] Even though current publicly known experimental quantum computing is nowhere near powerful enough to attack real cryptosystems,[3] many cryptographers are researching new algorithms in case quantum computing becomes a threat in the future. This work has been popularized by the PQCrypto conference series since 2006.[4][5]

In contrast, most current symmetric cryptographic systems (symmetric ciphers and hash functions) are secure from quantum computers.[2][6] The quantum Grover's algorithm can speed up attacks against symmetric ciphers, but this can be counteracted by increasing key size.[7] Thus post-quantum symmetric cryptography does not differ significantly from conventional symmetric cryptography.

Post-quantum cryptography is also unrelated to quantum cryptography, which refers to using quantum phenomena to achieve secrecy.

Currently post-quantum cryptography is mostly focused on four different approaches:[2][5]

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