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The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is requesting comments on a new process to solicit, evaluate, and standardize one or more quantum-resistant public-key cryptographic algorithms. Currently, public-key cryptographic algorithms are specified in FIPS 186–4, Digital Signature Standard, as well as special publications SP 800-56A Revision 2, Recommendation for Pair-Wise Key Establishment Schemes Using Discrete Logarithm Cryptography and SP 800-56B Revision 1, Recommendation for Pair-Wises Key-Establishment Schemes Using Integer Factorization Cryptography. However, these algorithms are vulnerable to attacks from large-scale quantum computers (see NISTIR 8105, Report on Post Quantum Cryptography).
As a first step in this process, NIST is publishing draft minimum acceptability requirements, submission requirements, and evaluation criteria for candidate algorithms to solicit public comment. It is intended that the new public-key cryptography standards will specify one or more additional unclassified, publicly disclosed digital signature, public-key encryption, and key-establishment algorithms that are available royalty-free worldwide, and are capable of protecting sensitive government information well into the foreseeable future, including after the advent of quantum computers.
The draft requirements and evaluation criteria and public comments are available below. The public comment period closed on September 16, 2016.