Apple Protects iMessage Conversations from Sophisticated Quantum Attacks

Apple has announced a groundbreaking post-quantum encryption protocol called PQ3 for iMessage. The company characterizes this new encryption as “revolutionary” and “state-of-the-art,” stating that it ensures “reliable protection against even highly complex quantum attacks.” According to Apple, the level of protection provided by the new protocol surpasses that available in all other widely-used messaging applications.

“Today, we announce the most significant security upgrade in the history of iMessage, introducing PQ3 — a revolutionary post-quantum cryptographic protocol that enhances modern end-to-end encrypted message transmission. Thanks to hack-resistant encryption and heightened protection against even the most complex quantum attacks, PQ3 is the first messaging protocol to achieve what we call Level 3 Security — providing protection that surpasses that of all other widely-used apps for messaging. As far as we know, PQ3 has the strongest protection properties among all large-scale messaging protocols worldwide,” Apple revealed.

Apple's significant security upgrade Source:

The PQ3 technology will gradually be deployed in all supported iMessage conversations, beginning with the release of iOS 17.4, iPadOS 17.4, macOS 14.4, and watchOS 10.4. The company clarified that it already appears in the latest beta versions of these platforms. The protocol will not be supported in VisionOS yet. This year, PQ3 will completely replace the existing iMessage encryption protocol — an update to the aforementioned or later versions will be required on all devices. iMessage already supports end-to-end encryption, but current cryptographic protocols are based on mathematical problems that future quantum computers could theoretically solve with ease. The PQ3 technology aims to protect against “collect now, decrypt later” attacks, which involve collecting large volumes of encrypted data in hopes of decrypting it in the future with more powerful equipment.

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