This is a guest post and part of our on going Research Life series
Professor Willy Susilo, Dr Thomas Plantard and Dr Guomin Yang from the School of Computing and Information Technology have been awarded a prestigious grant worth $US293,693 from the National Institute Standards and Technology (US – NIST).

This grant is to support their activity in the area of cyber security research, namely to investigate the construction of post-quantum cryptography.

Electronic transactions have been part of everyone’s life nowadays. The security of electronic transactions have been ensured by well-known cryptographic algorithms, such as RSA. Traditional cryptographic algorithms rely on the assumption that the underlying mathematical problem is hard. The well-known mathematical problems that have been used are factorisation and discrete logarithm problem. These problems are known to be difficult to solve with the existing computing power.

Unfortunately, it has been shown that if a quantum computer exists, then these problems are no longer difficult, and hence it will lead to the insecurity of the electronic transactions, which will be catastrophic!

While quantum computers are not yet existent at present, it is envisaged that they may appear sooner than later. Hence, the US government has urged people to seek for solutions which will protect future electronic transactions even after the availability of quantum computers.

This project aims to develop advanced cryptographic algorithms that will remain secure even after the advent of quantum computers.
The family of cryptographic algorithms that will remain secure after the availability of quantum computers is dubbed as ‘post-quantum cryptography’ algorithms.

One of the most important primitives in this family is lattice-based cryptography. In this project, we aim to investigate useful lattice structure which will be useful for protecting our future electronic transactions. We also aim to investigate which existing constructions that are not secure. The impact of this project will be essential for securing our future transactions.

Project Details

Title: On the Structure of Lattices for Post-quantum Cryptography
Investigators: Prof. Willy Susilo, Dr Thomas Plantard and Dr Guomin Yang
Amount awarded: USD $ 293,693
Project duration: 3 years (2017 – 2019).

The project or effort undertaken was or is sponsored by US Department of Commerce.