iPhone: Apple iMessage gets major update ahead of ‘quantum apocalypse’

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Apple is preparing to release one of its most significant security updates ever to combat the “Quantum Apocalypse” threat.

According to the technology company, the next iMessage update will make messages safe and secure. Despite advances in quantum computing.

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Currently, messaging platforms use classical cryptography to protect messages, ensuring that only the intended sender and recipient have access. This approach relies on complex mathematical challenges beyond the capabilities of traditional computers.

But with the possibility of quantum computers emerging in the coming years, there are concerns that previous cryptographic barriers could be overcome, allowing messages to be decrypted and entered.

This event is now known as the “Quantum Apocalypse”. While quantum computing holds promise for fields as diverse as medicine and intelligence, researchers are working to prevent security risks from cryptographic breakthroughs.

Enter post-quantum cryptography (PQC), a technology designed to preserve the computing power of quantum computers while maintaining compatibility with classical systems. Apple’s answer to this challenge is PQ3, a complete iteration of the iMessage protocol designed to strengthen security infrastructure.

The rollout of PQ3 is currently underway in iMessage beta, with plans to integrate it into mainstream versions of the Apple ecosystem such as iPhone, iPad, Mac and Watch by the end of the year. Apple claims that this move will make iMessage the most secure messaging app in the world.

Originally focusing on iMessage, Apple plans to expand PQ3 technology to other encryption services in its ecosystem. The company described its approach in a security blog post and worked with experts including Douglas Stebila of the University of Waterloo, who validated PQ3’s attack against both classical and quantum threats.

It is worth noting that Apple does not do this. A stand-alone effort to address the security implications of quantum computing. Companies like Google are working on similar innovations, supported by initiatives such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) project to develop encryption systems that are resistant to quantum attacks. Significant progress has been made since NIST’s announcement in 2015, resulting in the selection of four new cryptosystems for 2022 that tech companies are now integrating into their platforms.