By Dain Oh, The Readable
Sep. 29, 2023 6:55PM GMT+9
“Weekend Briefing” is a weekly newsletter that is sent to The Readable’s subscribers every Friday. Journalists for The Readable select important news stories from the previous week. Topics encompass privacy, cybercrime, and policy development in cybersecurity. There are no costs involved with a subscription, and some content, such as industrial reports, is only available to those who subscribe to our newsletters.
Hello! This is Dain Oh reporting from South Korea. The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) is one of the foremost research organizations in South Korea. Dr. Kang Yousung, Director of Cryptography and Authentication Research Section at ETRI, shared his expertise in quantum security with our readers. I have included a total of four news articles related to quantum security in this briefing that we had reported for the last few months including Dr. Kang’s article. Furthermore, Kuksung Nam reported two issues that she had been following up regarding ransomware and privacy. With our stories, have a wonderful weekend!
1. Opinion: Understanding quantum security
Recently, the view that quantum technology will revolutionize the future has been garnering increased attention. This burgeoning interest has been amplified as three pioneering physicists, lauded for their ground-breaking verification of quantum entanglement, were bestowed with the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics. The surge of anticipation within the information security industry towards quantum technology stems from its potential to decrypt certain cryptographic algorithms using quantum computers, posing new challenges and avenues in cybersecurity.
The conversation around the security implications of quantum computers can be traced back to a pivotal paper by Dr. Peter Shor in 1994. Titled “Algorithms for quantum computation: discrete logarithms and factoring,” it was presented at the 35th IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science. Then a computer scientist at Bell Lab, Dr. Shor introduced an algorithm, now known as Shor’s algorithm, which pertains to prime factorization. What’s groundbreaking about his proposition is that it showcased an exponential increase in speed in breaking down large numbers into primes compared to traditional digital computers. This revelation is particularly significant because the RSA algorithm, a cornerstone in encryption and digital signatures across devices like computers and smartphones, relies heavily on the difficulty of factoring large composite numbers. As a result, Shor’s algorithm, with its capability to tackle this factoring challenge using quantum computers, emerges as a formidable threat to the foundation of RSA encryption. READ MORE
2. Press Release: ICTK, QuSecure meet to strengthen quantum security cooperation
ICTK announced on September 13 that Skip Sanzeri, founder, COO and Board Chair of QuSecure, a U.S. quantum security company, visited the company’s headquarters in Pangyo, Gyeonggi-do, on the occasion of his visit to Korea as a speaker at the World Knowledge Forum (WKF). Sanzeri met with Justin Lee, CEO of ICTK, to discuss the status of QuSecure’s quantum security roadmap. He proposed a synergistic collaboration between QuSecure’s network security solutions and ICTK’s device security, saying that ICTK’s root of trust security chip that combines PUF and PQC is considered a highly advanced solution for the IoT Zero-Trust era. READ MORE
3. South Korea announces master plan for post-quantum cryptography
The South Korean government will transform its national cryptography systems to post-quantum cryptography by 2035, according to a master plan disclosed on July 12. Laying out the decadelong roadmap in six tracks, the master plan aims to protect the nation from quantum computing threats and fortify national cybersecurity from a long-term perspective. READ MORE
4. “Industry-academia cooperation is key to transition to post-quantum cryptography,” national cyber chief says
On August 29, South Korea’s top cybersecurity official pledged full support for industry leaders who are making the transition to post-quantum cryptography (PQC). “In order to transition our nationwide cryptography systems to PQC, we need to build a strong foundation for PQC industrialization,” said Baek Jong-wook, the Third Deputy Director of the National Intelligence Service (NIS). He made the comments in relation to the PQC conference that took place in Seoul on August 29. Instead of attending the event in person, the director conveyed his message through an agency press release. READ MORE
5. LockBit allegedly publishes 100GB of data on Hanwha Group
LockBit ransomware group is reported to have released 100GB of data linked to South Korea’s Hanwha Group just last week. On Tuesday, LockBit’s leak site revealed that the culprits had posted the domain address of Hanwha Group’s English website on September 8. They claimed to have obtained access to over 800GB of company-related data. For context, a leak site is a website on the dark web where cybercriminals upload the information that they have stolen from their victims. READ MORE
6. National employment platform faces legal challenges for data breach
A hacking incident that exposed the private data of 230,000 users on the national employment platform is taking a new turn, as one of the affected individuals has opted to pursue legal action. On Monday, South Korean lawmaker Kim Young-jin revealed that the Korea Employment Information Service (KEIS) is now embroiled in a legal showdown following a data breach on the state-run employment platform, Work-Net. READ MORE
The cover image of this article was designed by Areum Hwang.
Dain Oh is a distinguished journalist based in South Korea, recognized for her exceptional contributions to the field. As the founder and editor-in-chief of The Readable, she has demonstrated her expertise in leading media outlets to success. Prior to establishing The Readable, Dain was a journalist for The Electronic Times, a prestigious IT newspaper in Korea. During her tenure, she extensively covered the cybersecurity industry, delivering groundbreaking reports. Her work included exclusive stories, such as the revelation of incident response information sharing by the National Intelligence Service. These accomplishments led to her receiving the Journalist of the Year Award in 2021 by the Korea Institute of Information Security and Cryptology, a well-deserved accolade bestowed upon her through a unanimous decision. Dain has been invited to speak at several global conferences, including the APEC Women in STEM Principles and Actions, which was funded by the U.S. State Department. Additionally, she is an active member of the Asian American Journalists Association, further exhibiting her commitment to journalism.