World Economic Forum Places Quantum Computing in Global Risks Report 2019. The World Economic Forum (WEF) has placed quantum computing on its future shocks lists. Consider for moment what it is listed alongside: weather manipulation, surging migration, and human rights violations. In the WEF report, the future shock from quantum computing will occur due to cracking of public key algorithms. More starkly, the WEF report claims “a collapse of cryptography would take with it much of the scaffolding of digital life.”
The quantum-hackable encryption technologies are at the root of online trust. Trust that sensitive personal information, confidential corporate and state data, and financial details are held safe. The WEF predicts a switch to lattice-based and hash-based cryptography will gather pace; protecting our data heneforth. At one end, a complete replacement of the algorithms and on the other end, “taking sensitive information offline and relying on in-person exchanges.”
From The Qubit Report perspective, perhaps the most important observation the WEF highlights regards historical data that has been captured, historical dara. “But historical data will be vulnerable too. If I steal your conventionally encrypted data now, I can bide my time until quantum advances help me to access it, regardless of any stronger precautions you subsequently put in place.” Simply put, all your data encoded with public key encryption today, yesterday, or ten years ago will be fair game for a quantum computer hacking.