NIST has selected specialized NXP Crystals-Kyber algorithm for post-quantum cryptography standard development.
A specialized security algorithm co-authored by NXP Semiconductors’ security experts has been selected by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to become part of an industry global standard designed to counter quantum threats. A second algorithm co-authored by NXP will also advance to the fourth and final round for further analysis and consideration for standardization.
As the dangers of quantum computers become more clear, this effort anticipates the need to protect encrypted data and connected devices. The selected post-quantum cryptography (PQC) algorithms will be used to develop a new public key encryption standard that is secure against both traditional and quantum computers.
Many cyber security experts believe that when large-scale quantum computers come to fruition, the sheer computing power of these machines will be able to “solve” encryption challenges in a fraction of the time, breaking today’s public key encryption systems and leaving data, digital signatures and devices vulnerable. This creates substantial security risks for online devices and data, including financial transactions, critical infrastructure, over-the-air update mechanisms, and more.
To combat this, NIST announced an effort to standardize PQC algorithms that would allow the industry to transition to new, secure systems in advance of the quantum threat. The Crystals-Kyber lattice-based cryptography algorithm, submitted by NXP with security experts from IBM, will serve as the foundation for this new standard. The Classic McEliece, another co-authored NXP submission that belongs to the family of code-based cryptography, advances to an additional round of analysis and consideration for standardization.
“As the world becomes more connected and more data-driven, ensuring data and devices remain secure, even against quantum computers, is crucial. As NIST moves forward with developing a new post-quantum standard, NXP will offer our deep knowledge in security, and specifically our algorithmic expertise, to fortify our products for a post-quantum future. We aim to contribute to the common standard so that our customers can achieve long-term security in their own products,” said Joppe Bos, Senior Principal Cryptographer at NXP.
“The industry security experts of IBM, NXP and Arm, together with their academic partners (ENS, RAB, CWI and RUB) have created an industry-leading submission that will help shape the way we think about encryption and security for decades to come. Kyber is not only faster than current standards, it provides our clients with strong security to protect systems and data as we enter the quantum era,” said Michael Osborne, Principal Research Scientist Manager for Foundational Cryptography at IBM.