The first videoconferencing system with post-quantum encryption was created in Russia
The Dion service from the T1 group has become the first domestic video conferencing system capable of resisting cyberattacks using quantum computers at the software level. This was achieved thanks to the integration of QApp’s quantum-resistant VPN, based on the PQLR cryptographic library, which contains seven post-quantum encryption algorithms created in Russia. The commercial version of the product will appear on the market no earlier than 2024-2025.
Domestic videoconferencing with post-quantum encryption
Russia has created a videoconferencing system ( VKS ) with post-quantum encryption. It is capable of resisting cyberattacks using quantum computers at the software level. The developers claim that this is the first domestic solution of its kind.
The novelty is based on T1’s Dion videoconferencing service and a quantum-resistant VPN developed by QApp. Based on the results of the integration of these components and the subsequent testing of the solution within the framework of the pilot, the companies’ specialists managed to protect the data transmission channel connecting the participants in the conference call from attacks using both classical and quantum computers.
The client part of the service works on PCs and mobile devices running the Android operating system . The quality of sound and video does not suffer from the use of post-quantum protection, the developers say.
An important advantage of the product in QApp is its applicability for organizing communication sessions, the participants of which are geographically distant from each other at a considerable distance, moreover, without purchasing additional expensive equipment.
So, during the testing of the system, the distance between the session participants reached 1.8 thousand km. If the secure channel were organized not with the help of a purely software solution, but with the use of hardware quantum key distribution, then with an acceptable level of interference and loss, this figure would hardly exceed 100 km, Anton Guglya , the head of QApp, specified in a conversation with CNews.
Commercialization timeline and potential customers
The circle of potential users of the Dion videoconferencing system with built-in post-quantum protection, according to the CEO of the T1 group Igor Kalganov , includes representatives of large businesses, regardless of industry, government agencies and government agencies, any subjects of critical information infrastructure. They are the first to become targets of cyberattacks by cybercriminals.
QApp expects a significant increase in interest in products over the next two years from companies representing finance, the public sector, medicine, industry, and insurance .
“Today, post-quantum cryptography is at the stage of standardization both in Russia and abroad,” said Anton Guglya in a conversation with CNews. – A commercial version of the product, available to a wide range of users, will appear as soon as domestic standards are approved. In the optimistic scenario, this is 2024-2025.”
Nevertheless, according to the head of QApp, Dion with post-quantum encryption is already being used in the company, in an experimental mode.
The post-quantum VPN , its working name is PQ VPN , is responsible for protecting the communication channel in the integrated solution of T1 and QApp , QApp told CNews. It provides quantum-resistant traffic tunneling in real time due to post-quantum algorithms of domestic implementation.
The core of PQ VPN is the PQLR library , which includes seven quantum-resistant algorithms: NewHope (on lattices), Saber (key exchange based on the LWR module), SPHINCS + (on hash functions), McEliece (on linear codes), Falcon ( digital signature on lattices), Dilithium ( digital signature on lattices), Hypercium (digital signature algorithm on hash functions).
Four of them are finalists in the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology, US Department of Commerce ) competition. Several more algorithms are at the final stage of implementation and integration into QApp software solutions .
Post-quantum cryptography and quantum computers
A quantum computer is a computing machine that uses the phenomena of quantum superposition and quantum entanglement to transmit and process data. Devices of this type, unlike classical computers, which are built on binary nodes, operate not with bits, but with quantum bits (qubits). A qubit can be not only in a state of logical zero and one, but also in their superposition. As the number of qubits increases , the number of values processed simultaneously increases exponentially.
An important milestone for quantum computing systems is the achievement of the so-called quantum superiority (Quantum Supremacy) – the ability to cope with tasks that are unsolvable for traditional computers in practice due to their high complexity.
Many large technology companies are engaged in development and research in the field of quantum computing , including those with state support.
In the medium term , attackers who have gained access to a powerful quantum computer will be able to crack classical encryption algorithms in almost real time, QApp explains.
Post-quantum algorithms are resistant to the computational advantages of quantum computers in cyberattacks, which is confirmed by mathematical proofs of the resistance of each such algorithm.
Post-quantum encryption is a promising direction in the cybersecurity sector, the products of which are being piloted around the world to protect state and commercial secrets , personal and financial data, the developers say.
According to Anton Google, the most striking examples are the pilot projects of the American telecom giant Verizon and LG U+, LG’s telecommunications business.
In April 2022, LG+ was the first in the world to announce the launch of a new b2b service – a quantum-secure dedicated line. The communication line connected the telecommunications company with big business and the public sector. This, as Google notes, is far from the only case of LG +: in October 2022, the operator entered into an agreement with LG Electronics and Crypto Lab to develop post-quantum protection products for automotive electronic components.
Back in August 2021, Verizon announced a pilot project to test replace existing public key encryption methods with a quantum-resistant VPN product based on post-quantum cryptography . The key exchange took place between two private 5G networks located at the Verizon 5G Lab in London and the Executive Briefing Center in Ashburn.
In January 2023, CNews wrote that NRNU MEPhI scientists developed protocols to protect group chats in instant messengers from hacking using post-quantum cryptography algorithms.