The White House has announced a set of proposals for keeping the US ahead in the quantum computing race globally, while mitigating the risk of quantum computers that can break public-key cryptography.
Quantum computers powerful enough to break public-key encryption are still years away, but when it happens, they could be a major threat to national security, and financial and private data.
Some projects such as OpenSSH have implemented mitigations for the event that an attacker steals encrypted data today, with the hope of decrypting it when such a computer exists. But so far there are no official US standards for quantum-resistant cryptography. The Biden administration’s memorandum outlines its desire for the US to maintain its leadership in quantum information science (QIS), as well as a rough timelines and responsibilities for federal agencies to migrate most of the US’s cryptographic systems to quantum-resistant cryptography.