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What encryption algorithm does NordPass use?
NordPass uses the XChaCha20 encryption algorithm. It’s considered the future of encryption, with more and more tech giants from Silicon Valley implementing it in their services. Companies like Google and Cloudflare use XChaCha20 encryption to ensure fast and safe connections for their users.
What is XChaCha20 encryption?
The XChaCha20 algorithm is a way of encrypting and decrypting data. It supports two different lengths of keys, with the 256-bit encryption being the strongest. NordPass uses XChaCha20 to encrypt your password vault.
Why NordPass chose XChaCha20
Most password managers and other security products have been built using AES-256 encryption, which is a recognized security standard. So why did NordPass choose to be different?
We want our product to be long-lasting and are looking at our customers' security in the long run. AES encryption is fast and secure, but it shows some early signs of potentially becoming crackable in the future. If this happens, most products will have to go back to older encryption algorithms. We want to avoid this and move forward, not backward.In technical terms, we chose XChaCha20 because:
It’s faster to implement than AES-256. It’s also around 3 times faster on platforms that lack AES hardware.
It’s simpler, meaning that technical and human errors are easier to avoid when implementing it.
It doesn’t need hardware support.
Mobile platforms are slowly but surely moving to XChaCha20, so in the near future it will be recognized on an even wider scale.
Frequently asked questions
So far, no known attack has managed to break the XChaCha20 encryption. Just like any other encryption algorithm, it could theoretically be hacked with a brute-force attack. However, this is currently next to impossible.
XChaCha20 uses 256-bit keys, which means that a hacker would need to go through 2^256 combinations in order to break it. It would take hundreds of years for an average computer to complete such a task. In theory, it would take a supercomputer to find the decryption key quickly enough for the hacker to be able to use it. Such a computer hasn’t been built yet and, even if it was, it wouldn’t be easily accessible to an average human being.