A Major Step in Standardization of Quantum Random Number Generators (QRNG)

Geneva, September 19th 2019

Earlier this month, the draft recommendation “Quantum noise random number generator architecture” was consented as an international standard during ITU-T1 meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. ID Quantique was one the main actors of this success.

Today’s cryptography relies on sequences of random numbers. Pseudo random number generators currently in use seem to provide random bit sequences, but actually these bit sequences have certain patterns, so there is a risk of being hacked. The integration of physical entropy sources in random number generators is the most common method to overcome this security threat. However, classical physics is causal, hence the unpredictability of a bit sequence generated  with  classical  physics  cannot  be  proven.  Quantum  physics,  on  the  other  hand,  is  random  by  essence.  Numbers  generated  by  a  Quantum  Random  Number  Generator  (QRNG)  cannot  be  predicted    QRNG  is  provably  unpredictable. So if a quantum random number generator is used in a security system, even a fast supercomputer with a fast arithmetic operation cannot predict the random bit sequences used by this security system.

The newly consented draft recommendation, which is expected to be approved within 2019, deals with a common architecture for quantum entropy sources. This common architecture will allow suppliers and users to make a clear and simple distinction between QRNGs and other physical random number generators called True Random Number Generators (TRNGs). This first standardized quantum technology is already being used for ciphering in various security areas. In particular, the security of IoT, autonomous cars and smart cities based on 5G network will be strengthened.

“The QRNG standard will give the ICT industry a random number generator with proven unpredictability. Success for this standard would be its adoption by most or all QRNG vendors as well as some national security agencies.“ says Grégoire Ribordy, CEO of ID Quantique.

Read the full press release here.