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    Cryptography enables the private, authenticated, and confidential communication that allows the internet to thrive. We’re researching quantum-safe cryptography, zero-knowledge proofs, and lattice-based cryptography, to secure everything from mainframes to the hybrid cloud.


    IBM Research has an extensive history in cryptography research. In the late 1960s, IBM Chairman Thomas J. Watson Jr. set up a cryptography research group in IBM Research, headed by cryptographer Horst Feistel. The group created an encryption method, named “Lucifer,” to protect the data for a cash-dispensing system that IBM had developed for Lloyds Bank in the United Kingdom. This encryption method evolved to become the first-ever Data Encryption Standard (DES). This was the start of a long history of pioneering contributions to the cryptographic design of many familiar standards helping secure modern communications and interactions. The success and impact would not have been possible without the significant theoretical work conducted by cryptography researchers working across IBM. It resulted in major achievements in the mathematical foundations of cryptography and led to some of the greatest innovations in the area, including pioneering work in quantum-safe cryptography, seminal contributions to cryptanalysis, the development of lattice-based cryptosystems, the advancement of distributed cryptography and proactive security, and the breakthrough invention of fully homomorphic encryption. Most recently, the focus of our group has expanded to include password related protocols, Key Encapsulation and Combiners, Functional Encryption, and Zero Knowledge Proofs.

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    Featured interview

    Protecting today’s systems from tomorrow’s threats

    IBM cryptographer Vadim Lyubashevsky explains how quantum computers coming in the near future could break all modern cryptography — and how they can keep machines safe with post-quantum cryptography.


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