April 19, 2024
Apple Enhances iMessage Security for Future
Latest Cryptocurrency News

Apple Enhances iMessage Security for Future

On February 21, Apple introduced PQ3, marking a substantial cryptographic security enhancement in iMessage history with the release of iOS 17.4. This new protocol places Apple among the select few providers incorporating post-quantum cryptography for messages. While Signal launched a “quantum-resistant” encryption upgrade in September 2023, Apple claims to be the first to achieve “level 3” encryption.

iMessage has maintained end-to-end encryption since its inception, initially utilizing RSA encryption before transitioning to Elliptic Curve cryptography (ECC) in 2019. Presently, breaking such encryption is deemed infeasible due to the considerable time and computing power required. However, the looming threat of quantum computing necessitates proactive measures.

Theoretically, a quantum computer with sufficient capabilities could easily breach current encryption methods. While no existing quantum computing systems possess this capability, the rapid pace of advancement has prompted global governments and organizations to prepare for such eventualities.

The overarching strategy involves developing post-quantum cryptography methods in advance, enabling entities such as banks and hospitals to fortify their data against potential malicious actors armed with cutting-edge technology.

The timeline for the emergence of quantum computers capable of breaking standard cryptography remains uncertain. IBM anticipates a quantum computing inflection point by 2029, while QuEra, a spinout from MIT and Harvard, envisions a 10,000-qubit error-corrected system by 2026.

Regrettably, cybercriminals are not waiting for the advent of quantum computers to launch their attacks. Many engage in illicit harvesting of encrypted data, storing it for potential decryption in what is commonly referred to as an HNDL attack (harvest now, decrypt later). As technology evolves, Apple’s PQ3 represents a proactive step towards reinforcing the cryptographic security of iMessage, aligning with broader industry efforts to stay ahead of potential quantum computing threats.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

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