University of Cambridge > > Computer Laboratory Security Seminar > The Security of Post-Quantum Telco Networks, or changing 10 billion door-locks in 197 countries

The Security of Post-Quantum Telco Networks, or changing 10 billion door-locks in 197 countries

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Kieron Ivy Turk.

There are around 10 billion devices and systems in the world’s telecom networks. In 1994 Peter Shor worked out how a theoretical quantum computer could factor numbers quickly, and so break RSA and related public key cryptosystems. Now we are planning for this eventuality. NIST recently selected 4 new Post-Quantum Cryptography algorithms to replace RSA , DSA and ECDSA . Governments and civil society groups are recommending organizations should start to plan the implementation of Post-Quantum Cryptography. The Telecoms and Banking industries are taking a lead to create detailed roadmaps to implement Post-Quantum Cryptography. The GSMA (the trade association of the world’s 1000-odd mobile operators) announced the creation of a Post-Quantum Telco Network Task Force in September 2022. Implementing PQC across an industry means creating an end-to-end view of the cryptographic landscape. A detailed inventory of where and why cryptography is used in devices, networks, systems, data-stores and interfaces. The thousands of open-source projects, open standards and industry-specific recommendations that rely on cryptography. The vendor products that implement cryptographic algorithms, sometimes invisibly. The business processes. And then prioritising the changes. This talk will describe how the telecom industry will respond to this challenge. Eventually, all industries will have to make similar changes. And one final question: how do we achieve industry-wide crypto agility, for the next time we need to update our cryptosystems?

This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory Security Seminar series.

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