NIST to Announce Round 2 PQC Candidates on January 10, 2019

We had previously written about the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) competition to select a few quantum resistant cryptography algorithms that they will recommend be used as a standard for Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC).  (See What’s Happening with Post-Quantum Cryptography at NIST.) Their process is a multi-year process with multiple rounds.  The first Round began with the submission of 82 candidates by the November 30, 2017 deadline with 69 candidates being accepted by NIST as complete and proper.  Since then 5 candidates have been withdrawn and other schemes have merged together and NIST has been evaluating the candidates based upon security against both classical and quantum attacks, performance, and other characteristics. The next step will be to narrow the field and select the Round 2 candidates for additional evaluation and measurement.  NIST has just indicated they will announce the Round 2 candidates on January 10, 2019 at 2 PM Pacific time at the Real World Crypto Symposium in San Jose.  After that, NIST will spend the next year or two evaluating the Round 2 candidates and after this round will either announce a final selection or start a Round 3 based upon their findings. Additional details are available on NIST’s Post-Quantum Cryptography project page which you can find here.

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