Google to experiment with quantum computing-ready algorithms in Chrome

chrome quantum algothithms experiment google ibm experience
Carl De Torres /IBM Research
The race toward quantum computing brings with it a whole host of security concerns, including quantum algorithms being used to shatter the encrypted communications built using today’s standards. To prepare for the future, Google is experimenting with quantum-secure connections in its Chrome browser.

Quantum computers themselves exist today but only in an experimental state at companies like Intel and IBM. Writing in a blog post, Google software engineer Matt Braithwaite said the industry needed to be ready for quantum computing on a wider scale whenever it arrives.

As a result, Google will now be testing out a few “post-quantum cryptography” connections between Chrome and Google’s servers to ensure security in the future. These are connections that are built to withstand the rigors of quantum computing.

Google will be tinkering with connections using the New Hope post-quantum algorithm developed by researchers Erdem Alkim, Léo Ducas, Thomas Pöppelmann, and Peter Schwabe.

However, Braithwaite is keen to point out that the experiments will only be carried out on a “small fraction” of connections while still using the standard encryption that’s already in place, so as to not compromise user security during the tests.

“Our aims with this experiment are to highlight an area of research that Google believes to be important, and to gain real-world experience with the larger data structures that post-quantum algorithms will likely require,” said Braithwaite.

He also pointed out that the experiment will be ephemeral and cut after two years. Google does not expect to create any de facto standard for quantum computing with these tests but rather to prepare for further testing down the road by leaving the New Hope algorithm behind and “replacing it with something better.”

The quantum experiment will be carried out with Chrome Canary, the adopters’ version of the browser for developers. If you’re using Canary, you can check the security tab and search for “CECPQ1” in the overview to see if you’re one of the test subjects.

Computing

Hands-on with Microsoft Chromium Edge: A first look at the early release

We installed a preview of Edge Chromium, and there's now a lot that makes it feel Chrome, but there are also some similarities to the old Edge. So, is the new Chromium Edge the best browser ever? Here's a hands-on look.
Computing

Yes, you can use Android apps on your Chromebook. Here's how

You can now get Android apps on your Chromebook! Google has enabled the Google Play Store app support on its Chrome OS and Chromebook hardware, so to get you started, here's our guide on how to get Android apps on a Chromebook.
Computing

In 2019, laptops are better than ever. Here are the best of the best

The best laptop should be one that checks all the boxes: Great battery life, beautiful design, and top-notch performance. Our picks for the best laptops you can buy do all that — and throw in some extra features while they're at it.
Computing

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
Computing

Own an Asus computer? Malware might be hiding in your system

If you own an Asus computer, your system might have been infected by malware distributed from the tool you typically use to update the BIOS and install other security patches, according to a new report by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab.
Computing

The new Windows 10 File Explorer could look like this in 2020

Microsoft may update Windows 10's File Explorer to adopt Fluent Design principles in an upcoming 2020 update. A report suggests that we'll get our first glimpse at the new-look explorer in upcoming Windows Insider builds.
Product Review

HP’s gem-cut Spectre x360 15 is the most powerful 2-in-1 you can buy

HP’s 2019 Spectre x360 15 brings this massive 2-in-1 up to speed, literally. It now equips the same six-core Intel CPU as the rest of the 15-inch field, along with a real GPU for some 1080p gaming.
Computing

DisplayPort and HDMI both connect to screens, but here's how they're different

HDMI and DisplayPort are two of the most popular connectors for hooking up consoles, gaming PCs, TVs, and monitors, but which is best? To find out, we pitted HDMI vs. DisplayPort and compared their best and worst features.
Computing

Get a new 2018 Apple MacBook Air for $1,000 with Amazon’s latest sale

Online retailer Amazon is currently running a discount on select models of the MacBook Air 2018. You can bring one home starting at $1,000, a full $200 off the usual selling price.
Computing

From hot rods to budget sleepers, our favorite desktops can handle anything

Are laptops overrated? Experience the power offered by the best desktop computers on the market today, whether you're in need of a budget solution or a fire-breathing, $4,000 premium gaming rig.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Computing

Man pleads guilty to scamming Facebook and Google out of more than $100M

One of the men behind an elaborate fraud that saw Facebook and Google each hand over tens of millions of dollars has admitted to his part in the scheme. Lithuanian Evaldas Rimasauskas faces up to 30 years in a U.S. jail.
Computing

Ditch the background from your photos with these handy editing tools

Need to know how to remove the background from an image? Whether you prefer to use a premium program like Photoshop or one of the many web-based alternatives currently in existence, we'll show you how.
Computing

Zipping files on a Chromebook? Follow these four easy steps

Chromebooks support file compression, though they work a little differently than on Windows or Mac. Here's the step-by-step process to zipping files on a Chromebook, and then unzipping them again for extraction.