Quick Hits

*** The National Institute of Standards and Technology announced it had 15 final candidates in its post-quantum cryptography standard – seven of these are deemed finalists and eight are tabbed as alternates. The agency received 69 submissions in a bid to come up with encryption standards that could resist the anticipated number-crunching power of quantum computers to produce secure digital signatures, public key encryption and to generate cryptographic keys. NIST had whittled the original 69 submissions down to 26 for evaluation last March. Now the agency hopes input from experts will help them settle on a handful of algorithms in a final round of vetting.

*** Rear Adm. Michelle Skubic was confirmed by the Senate on July 20 for promotion to the rank of vice admiral and to serve as the next director of the Defense Logistics Agency. Skubic will replace Army Lt. General Darrell K. Williams who stepped down from the top DLA job earlier this month.

*** The National Science Foundation announced $75 million in funding for the Quantum Leap Challenges Institute on July 21 to solve problems in quantum information science over the next five years.