Over the last twelve months, we have been talking about the new baseline of encryption on the Internet: post-quantum cryptography. During Birthday Week last year we announced that our beta of Kyber was available for testing, and that Cloudflare Tunnel could be enabled with post-quantum cryptography. Earlier this year, we made our stance clear that this foundational technology should be available to everyone for free, forever.
Today, we have hit a milestone after six years and 31 blog posts in the making: we’re starting to roll out General Availability1 of post-quantum cryptography support to our customers, services, and internal systems as described more fully below. This includes products like Pingora for origin connectivity, 188.8.131.52, R2, Argo Smart Routing, Snippets, and so many more.
This is a milestone for the Internet. We don’t yet know when quantum computers will have enough scale to break today’s cryptography, but the benefits of upgrading to post-quantum cryptography now are clear. Fast connections and future-proofed security are all possible today because of the advances made by Cloudflare, Google, Mozilla, the National Institutes of Standards and Technology in the United States, the Internet Engineering Task Force, and numerous academic institutions
What does General Availability mean? In October 2022 we enabled X25519+Kyber as a beta for all websites and APIs served through Cloudflare. However, it takes two to tango: the connection is only secured if the browser also supports post-quantum cryptography. Starting August 2023, Chrome is slowly enabling X25519+Kyber by default.
The user’s request is routed through Cloudflare’s network (2). We have upgraded many of these internal connections to use post-quantum cryptography, and expect to be done upgrading all of our internal connections by the end of 2024. That leaves as the final link the connection (3) between us and the origin server.
We are happy to announce that we are rolling out support for X25519+Kyber for most inbound and outbound connections as Generally Available for use including origin servers and Cloudflare Workers
Support for post-quantum outbound connections
Started roll-out. Aiming for 100% by the end of the October.
Pro and business
Aiming for 100% by the end of year.
Roll-out begins February 2024. 100% by March 2024.
For our Enterprise customers, we will be sending out additional information regularly over the course of the next six months to help prepare you for the roll-out. Pro, Business, and Enterprise customers can skip the roll-out and opt-in within your zone today, or opt-out ahead of time using an API described in our companion blog post. Before rolling out for Enterprise in February 2024, we will add a toggle on the dashboard to opt out.
If you’re excited to get started now, check out our blog with the technical details and flip on post-quantum cryptography support via the API!
What’s included and what is next?
With an upgrade of this magnitude, we wanted to focus on our most used products first and then expand outward to cover our edge cases. This process has led us to include the following products and systems in this roll out:
Argo Smart Routing
Automatic Platform Optimization
Automatic Signed Exchange
Custom Error Pages
Flow Based Monitoring
Host Head Checker
Magic Network Monitoring
Network Error Logging
Speed on Cloudflare Dash
WAF, Managed Rules
If a product or service you use is not listed here, we have not started rolling out post-quantum cryptography to it yet. We are actively working on rolling out post-quantum cryptography to all products and services including our Zero Trust products. Until we have achieved post-quantum cryptography support in all of our systems, we will publish an update blog in every Innovation Week that covers which products we have rolled out post-quantum cryptography to, the products that will be getting it next, and what is still on the horizon.
Products we are working on bringing post-quantum cryptography support to soon:
Cloudflare Load Balancer
As we announced earlier this year, post-quantum cryptography will be included for free in all Cloudflare products and services that can support it. The best encryption technology should be accessible to everyone – free of charge – to help support privacy and human rights globally.
As we mentioned in March:
“What was once an experimental frontier has turned into the underlying fabric of modern society. It runs in our most critical infrastructure like power systems, hospitals, airports, and banks. We trust it with our most precious memories. We trust it with our secrets. That’s why the Internet needs to be private by default. It needs to be secure by default.”
Our work on post-quantum cryptography is driven by the thesis that quantum computers that can break conventional cryptography create a similar problem to the Year 2000 bug. We know there is going to be a problem in the future that could have catastrophic consequences for users, businesses, and even nation states. The difference this time is we don’t know how the date and time that this break in the computational paradigm will occur. Worse, any traffic captured today could be decrypted in the future. We need to prepare today to be ready for this threat.
We are excited for everyone to adopt post-quantum cryptography into their systems. To follow the latest developments of our deployment of post-quantum cryptography and third-party client/server support, check out pq.cloudflareresearch.com and keep an eye on this blog.
1We are using a preliminary version of Kyber, NIST’s pick for post-quantum key agreement. Kyber has not been finalised. We expect a final standard to be published in 2024 under the name ML-KEM, which we will then adopt promptly while deprecating support for X25519Kyber768Draft00.