NIST goes with algorithm co-developed by Thales for post-quantum digital signatures
An algorithm co-developed by Thales has been selected as a post-quantum cryptography standard for digital signatures specifically for its ability to withstand future attacks from quantum computers.
The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology chose the Falcon algorithm for its extremely high security and bandwidth efficiency, Thales says. The selection concludes a five-year global competition to find ways of protecting digital signatures. The challenge drew 82 participants from 25 countries.
Digital signatures are widely used to confirm the authenticity of digital messages or digital identity documents.
The algorithm will be included in the post-quantum cryptography standards that NIST is expected to define in the next two years.
Falcon was developed in collaboration with the University of Rennes and PQShield from France, IBM researchers in Switzerland, Canada’s NCC Group, and Qualcomm and Brown University in the U.S. Thales claims to be the only technology company taking part in the competition to serve the defense, aerospace and digital identity markets.
NIST chose another two algorithms as standards for digital signatures and a fourth for public key encryption and a key encapsulation mechanism.
Thales has been working on post-quantum cryptography research since 2013, Pierre-Yves Jolivet, the multinational’s vice president of cyber defense products.
“Selection of the Falcon algorithm by NIST is great recognition of the excellent co-development work and expertise of our crypto teams,” according to Jolivet.
“We will pursue our on-going research in France and Europe to develop innovative, trusted solutions that will be quantic-resistant, without compromising performance.” Jolivet said the company is helping customers transition to the next generation of security, hopefully, to avert a “crypto-apocalypse.”
A report published by Eurosmart in late 2021 argued that quantum computing could threaten the security of digital ID documents, including those with embedded biometric data.