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Taiwanese scholar enters semifinals in post-quantum cryptography competition

If Academia Sinica researcher wins, his work will be accepted as US standard and possibly international benchmark

(Facebook, Academia Sinica Institute of Information Science photo)

(Facebook, Academia Sinica Institute of Information Science photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A four-year contest to find an international cryptographic standard is nearing its final stage, and a Taiwanese team has made it into the semi-finals, with the winner expected to be announced in 2022.

Deemed a potentially disruptive technology to revolutionize the future, the post-quantum cryptography market is estimated to reach US$214 million by 2025.

Maryland-based National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) began hosting the competition in 2016. The contest is set to select the winning system as the American national standard that will likely be accepted by the world.

Out of the original pool of 82 teams, two teams, led by Academia Sinica researchers Chou Tung (周彤) and Yang Bo-ying (楊柏因), made it into the quarterfinals, showing Taiwan's strong presence in cryptography and growth momentum in the coming post-quantum era.

Chou, who is an assistant research fellow at a unit dedicated to advancing information technology, told Liberty Times that cryptography protects sensitive information to ensure cybersecurity and that public-key cryptography is already widely used.

However, there is an urgent need to develop a more secure method of public-key cryptography to resist the growing number of attacks by quantum computers, he said.

Chou's team is working on an encrypting system based on the classic McEliece scheme to effectively prevent cyberattacks during data transmissions.