Do We Really Need Post-Quantum Cryptography?

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10 years of news and resources for members of the IEEE Signal Processing Society

Do We Really Need Post-Quantum Cryptography?

In the last months, several discussions have been raised up by the NSA statements about backdoored cryptosystems up to the announcement about the need for post-quantum cryptography (PCQ). In particular one passage leaves open multiple interesting questions and conjectures:

For those partners and vendors that have not yet made the transition to Suite B algorithms, we recommend not making a significant expenditure to do so at this point but instead to prepare for the upcoming quantum resistant algorithm transition.

Basically this point suggests that it is not strictly needed to made transition to Suite B (a set of cryptographic algorithms announced in Feb 2005) because practical quantum computers will be here soon and would be better to be prepared for that.

Neal Koblitz and Alfred J. Menezes released a non-academic paper “A Riddle Wrapped in an Enigma” in which they try to dissect the above statement with the aim of discussing and explaining the different theories that have be proposed in the last months. Starting from the 1980 up to today, they will show how different decisions has been taken in the process of standardizing cryptographic algorithms and which are the most interesting speculations and interpretations about it.


  1. NSA Suite B Cryptography
  2. N. Koblitz and A. J. Menezes (2015) - A Riddle Wrapped in an Enigma
  3. Wikipedia contributors. "Post-quantum cryptography" Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 25 Oct. 2015. Web. 27 Oct. 2015.
  4. Privacy in the Era of Surveillance: Lifting up the Doormat

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