Apple upgrades iMessage with new encryption protocol that can withstand quantum computer – Firstpost | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

With the new update, Apple is introducing “Level 3” security to iMessage, which uses advanced cryptography to secure messages at two levels, first when the conversation starts and then during the conversation itself. Encryption keys will change more frequently

In a move aimed at fortifying its messaging platform against potential threats from quantum computing, Apple has unveiled a groundbreaking cryptographic protocol for iMessage.

The new protocol, named PQ3, is meticulously designed to shield users from sophisticated attacks leveraging quantum computers. With the threat of quantum computing looming on the horizon, Apple’s initiative marks a significant step forward in securing digital communications. With the new update, Apple is introducing “Level 3” security, which uses advanced cryptography to secure messages at two levels: when the conversation starts and while the conversation is happening.

The PQ3 protocol, revealed by Apple on Wednesday, represents a proactive measure to protect iMessage users from potential future breaches.

By incorporating quantum-resistant encryption, PQ3 aims to thwart any attempts by malicious actors equipped with quantum computing capabilities to compromise sensitive conversations. This development underscores Apple’s commitment to staying ahead of emerging security challenges in an increasingly digitized world.

Traditional encryption methods, although robust against conventional computing power, face vulnerabilities in the face of quantum computing’s immense computational capabilities. Recognizing this, Apple’s PQ3 protocol offers a preemptive defence strategy, ensuring the integrity of iMessage communications even in the face of future quantum threats.

The introduction of PQ3 follows a similar move by Signal, another leading messaging platform, which unveiled its PQXDH protocol last year. Apple’s PQ3, however, boasts enhancements over its predecessor, including dynamic key rotation to mitigate risks associated with compromised keys.

Acknowledging the collaborative effort behind PQ3’s development, Apple cites rigorous reviews by its Security Engineering and Architecture teams, alongside assessments by esteemed experts such as Professor David Basin from ETH Zürich and Professor Douglas Stebila from the University of Waterloo. Furthermore, independent security consultancy has scrutinized the PQ3 source code, affirming its robustness against potential vulnerabilities.

The rollout of PQ3 is slated to coincide with forthcoming updates to Apple’s operating systems, including iOS 17.4, iPadOS 17.4, macOS 14.4, and watchOS 10.4. This seamless integration ensures that iMessage conversations on supported devices will seamlessly transition to the new quantum-security protocol, providing users with enhanced peace of mind.

Apple’s pioneering PQ3 protocol represents a significant milestone in the ongoing battle to safeguard digital communications against emerging threats.


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