- Google aims to protect data from future quantum computers
- The experiment will not compromise user security
- It will be replaced within two years
Many tech companies like Google, Microsoft, and IBM are working on with quantum computers, and while it comes with many benefits, one of those is also a potential threat – the potential to quickly decrypt current day encryption. In order to prevent this, Google is experimenting with new connections between Chrome (on desktop) and its servers that will use new post-quantum algorithm to prevent decryption of content.
Google says that it is looking to test this feature in order to protect user data even from future quantum computers. Quantum computers are expected to be significantly faster than current technology, and large quantum computers may also be able to break the asymmetric cryptographic primitives that are currently used in TLS (the security protocol behind HTTPS).
The tech giant assures that user security will not be compromised with this experiment. Currently, Google is only experimenting this post-quantum key-exchange algorithm on a few connections. It is enabled in Chrome Canary, and users can check if they are using this new algorithm by looking for CECPQ1 under the Key Exchange in the browser security panel.
Google also confirms that it does not intend to make this the standard algorithm. “We explicitly do not wish to make our selected post-quantum algorithm a de-facto standard. To this end we plan to discontinue this experiment within two years, hopefully by replacing it with something better,” wrote on its blog post.
Asserting that this is just an experiment, Google says that the algorithm may break. In such a case the HTTPS standard elliptic-curve key-exchange algorithm still exists to provide secure connections.