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Encryption meant to protect against quantum hackers is easily cracked

Rainbow, an algorithm that was supposed to protect data from hacking by quantum computers, has been defeated using a standard laptop

Technology 8 March 2022

R17CX7 Blockchain technology concept. 3d illustration.

Encrypted data might be vulnerable to quantum computer hackers

SERGII IAREMENKO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Alamy

ONE of three cryptography algorithms vying to become a global standard against the looming security threat posed by quantum computers has been cracked in a weekend using a standard laptop. The algorithm is now widely believed to be unfit for purpose.

A range of algorithms for encryption – the process of bundling data up into impenetrable files for safe transmission – are currently verified and approved as secure by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and consequently they are used around the …