OpenSSH now defaults to protecting against quantum computer attacks

Post-quantum cryptography has arrived by default with the release of OpenSSH 9 and the adoption of the hybrid Streamlined NTRU Prime + x25519 key exchange method.

“The NTRU algorithm is believed to resist attacks enabled by future quantum computers and is paired with the X25519 ECDH key exchange (the previous default) as a backstop against any weaknesses in NTRU Prime that may be discovered in the future. The combination ensures that the hybrid exchange offers at least as good security as the status quo,” the release notes said.

“We are making this change now (i.e. ahead of cryptographically-relevant quantum computers) to prevent ‘capture now, decrypt later’ attacks where an adversary who can record and store SSH session ciphertext would be able to decrypt it once a sufficiently advanced quantum computer is available.”

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Source: ZDNet