Google is testing out post-quantum cryptography in a move to guard against hackers who may one day use quantum computers to break the security protocol used in HTTPS.
Although quantum computers are still small and experimental, Google is looking down the road to a time when quantum computers could be used to break the asymmetric cryptographic primitives that are used in TLS, which when used to secure HTTP constitutes the HTTPS protocol. Cryptographic primitives that can stay secure against quantum computers are known collectively as post-quantum cryptography.
“A hypothetical, future quantum computer would be able to retrospectively decrypt any Internet communication that was recorded today, and many types of information need to remain confidential for decades. Thus even the possibility of a future quantum computer is something that we should be thinking about today,” Matt Braithwaite, a Google software engineer, said in a Google Security blog.