• David Mitlyng

Weekly Takeaways-May3,2022

Theme of the Week

We Built a Glass House before the Invention of Stones We are heavily dependent on space, and our adversaries know it,” warned the former secretary of the US Air Force years ago.

And in the wake of Russia’s anti-satellite missile tests, and interference with GPS, Starlink, and Viasat, there is now concern that war could extend into space where critical satellites are sitting ducks. So how do you protect satellites? There is no one solution, but taken in combination:

And splitting dual use satellites like GPS into separate commercial and military systems. Not only do they address different needs, but it will make GPS a less attractive target. Last Week's Theme: GPS Keeps the Lights On


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The More You Know...

Most communications today is encrypted. For almost all cases this encryption is based on the use of public key cryptography. The security of public key cryptography relies on mathematical problems that are believed to be computationally intractable even using massive supercomputers. For decades, the use of public key cryptography has been implemented via a system known as public key infrastructure (PKI). But a large enough fault-tolerant quantum computer could break PKI, so the race is on for a replacement. There are two potential options: quantum key distribution (QKD), which requires unique hardware but is potentially more secure, and post-quantum cryptography (PQC), which is essentially a new form of PKI. PQC uses new mathematical problems that are believed to be intractable even with quantum computers. Since it's a form of public cryptography, PQC is software based and therefore much cheaper and easier to implement within current networks. There are companies building QKD systems with commercial hardware and networks already available. But QKD is still in the early adoption phase, with system cost and scalability a barrier to deployment. PQC, on the other hand, will be easier to implement once a standard has been adopted. In the US, this process has already started, though the security of some of the PQC options have been challenged. Xairos is focused on secure, high precision time transfer​, not on key distribution. Performing time transfer beyond GPS precision already requires unique hardware, and current methods are insecure.