#Press Release News

Tutanota launches into the age of quantum computing by building a secure Drive solution

Tutanota launches into the age of quantum

Date: July 24, 2024

TutaDrive is the first quantum-resistant tech designed to offer end-to-end encryption for data storage and exchange that Tutanota is building. Check out rest of the report for more details!

Thanks to a €1.5 million grant from the German government's KMU-innovativ funding program, Tutanota is developing a cloud storage and file-sharing solution designed to provide secure encryption in the coming age of quantum technology: PQDrive

The funding from the German government will be invested in the project "PQDrive - Development of a Post-Quantum Encrypted Online Storage", which is being implemented together with the University of Wuppertal. 

The project will create the TutaDrive software, which is the first end-to-end encrypted cloud solution that can be used to securely store and exchange data even in the age of quantum computers. Building on encrypted emails and calendars, TutaDrive is intended to be a fully encrypted cloud storage solution that automatically encrypts all files end-to-end in a quantum-resistant manner, according to the project's presentation.

The following will make TutaDrive unique:

  • Long-term high security through a hybrid encryption method of conventional and post-quantum secure cryptography
  • Ease of use, especially for users without encryption experience
  • Seamless integration into Tutanota's e-mail and calendar applications after completion of the project

This project is a great investment in next-level security as the advancements of quantum computers threaten all commonly used asymmetric encryption. Once quantum computers are able to run calculations on a large scale, they will be able to break the encryption of any email and any shared file.

Why post-quantum encryption?

Quantum computers are an amazing technology that will revolutionize the tech world even more than AI. But here's the catch: Quantum computers are not just fun and games. They can break the very foundations of modern encryption, the technology that keeps our information safe. 

That's where post-quantum secure encryption comes to the rescue, like a digital knight in shining armor! It's the shield that protects our sensitive information from the quantum apocalypse. 

Algorithms commonly used today would not be able to withstand the computational power of quantum computers for long. That’s also confirmed by the American National Institute of Technology (NIST): In the future large-scale quantum computers “will be able to break many of the public-key cryptosystems currently in use. This would seriously compromise the confidentiality and integrity of digital communications on the Internet and elsewhere. The goal of post-quantum cryptography (also called quantum-resistant cryptography) is to develop cryptographic systems that are secure against both quantum and classical computers, and can interoperate with existing communications protocols and networks.” 

The problem is that asymmetric cryptosystems that are widely used today rely on variants of only two hard mathematical problems: the integer factorization problem and the discrete logarithm problem. While these are secure enough for today’s tech world, quantum computers are able to solve any calculation significantly faster; they will also be able to solve the integer factorization problem and the discrete logarithm problem.

This means that quantum computers have the potential to break the most secure communications on the planet, putting all our digital communication at risk.

Security for years to come

Tutanota is now investing a lot of time and effort into building a post-quantum secure email and file sharing service. This is great news as it will secure our communication for years to come, also when quantum computers become a reality.

The trick is that post-quantum encryption relies on complex mathematical algorithms that are resistant to quantum algorithms. These algorithms are based on mathematical problems so mind-bogglingly difficult that even quantum computers struggle to solve them. The time and resources required to break post-quantum secure encryption would be astronomical, making it practically impossible to crack.

Tutanota, the secure email service from Germany, will bring the secure drive solution automatically to its 10 million users. The company has already been involved in the PQMail research project with Leibniz University Hannover since 2020 to test new encryption techniques that can withstand upcoming quantum computers. The goal was an encrypted email prototype that could send emails with post-quantum secure encryption. 

This prototype has already been finished. Matthias Pfau, co-founder of Tutanota says -

“We are thrilled that we can now send post-quantum securely encrypted emails in an early alpha version. This is an amazing success by our development team, particularly since we decided on the same algorithms for post-quantum secure encryption that the NIST has recently announced as finalists in defining a standard for this encryption method.  We are now in the process of updating the encryption protocol used in Tutanota so that soon our ten million users will benefit from our secure encryption protocol – without having to change their workflow at all! This is how security should be done: As simple as possible for the user, but still with maximum security.”

The goal is to keep our online communication safe. Post-quantum encryption is designed to withstand the brute force of quantum attacks. “With this technology, we can ensure that our confidential messages and top-secret files remain hidden from prying eyes, even if quantum computers are lurking in the shadows”, concludes Pfau.

Aman Gaur

By Aman Gaur LinkedIn Icon

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