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Abu Dhabi unveils first post-quantum cryptography library in UAE

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His Excellency Faisal Al Bannai, Secretary General of the Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), said: “The United Arab Emirates is now in the same league of countries that possess advanced digital data security capabilities. Our researchers have worked hard to make this revolutionary project a reality. To meet the growing level of sophistication in the world of data, systems and network security, we are currently engaged in many more such ventures for the future. Our researchers are shaping the building blocks of advanced cryptographic and cryptanalytic solutions that enable superior data confidentiality, integrity, authentication, non-repudiation, and privacy.”

The PQC library will advance the cryptographic and security capabilities of the emirate of Abu Dhabi and the broader UAE. International and Emirati researchers at CRC, one of the Technology Innovation Institute’s (TII) dedicated research centers, have developed the PQC library together with scientists in multiple cryptography fields such as post-quantum cryptography, hardware-based cryptography, lightweight cryptography, cryptographic protocols, and cloud encryption schemes, amongst others.

This innovative software library written in the C general-purpose programming language supports a wide variety of computer architectures and operating systems. It is specifically designed to guard against attacks by quantum computers. By and large, the library is a collection of algorithms to safeguard confidential data and information and address the demand for an advanced level of security that cannot be compromised even on sophisticated quantum computers.

Dr. Najwa Aaraj, Chief Researcher at the Cryptography Research Centre, said: “Quantum computing capabilities are a potential threat to data security. This fact underscores the importance of the launch of the UAE’s first post-quantum cryptography library to guard against quantum computer attacks. The first release of the library has already been integrated into several secure communication products with advanced cryptographic protocols. Such a library serves as the foundation of any security application or product in development today that integrates public-key cryptography functionality.  We will continue to develop the PQC library through incorporating more schemes.”

The library also contains seven schemes present in the 3rd Round of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) PQC Competition and few custom schemes. In detail, NIST started a standardization process of PQC key-encapsulation mechanisms (KEM) and PQC digital signatures which will define the new guidelines of public-key cryptography.