2048-Bit RSA Cracked in < 8 Hours?

How a quantum computer could break 2048-bit RSA encryption in 8 hours

Excerpts and salient points ~

+  A new study shows that quantum technology will catch up with today’s encryption standards much sooner than expected. That should worry anybody who needs to store data securely for 25 years or so.

+  Security experts might well have been able to justify the idea that it would be decades before messages with 2048-bit RSA encryption could be broken by a quantum computer.

+  [Researchers] have shown how a quantum computer could do the calculation with just 20 million qubits. Indeed, they show that such a device would take just eight hours to complete the calculation. 

“[As a result], the worst case estimate of how many qubits will be needed to factor 2048 bit RSA integers has dropped nearly two orders of magnitude…”

+  For ordinary people, there is little risk. Most people use 2048-bit encryption, or something similar, for tasks like sending credit card details over the internet. If these transactions are recorded today and broken in 25 years, little will be lost.

+  But for governments, there is more at stake. The messages they send today—between embassies or the military, for example—may well be significant in 20 years and so worth keeping secret. If such messages are still being sent via 2048-bit RSA encryption, or something similar, then these organizations should start worrying—quickly.

Source: MIT Technology Review.  How a quantum computer could break 2048-bit RSA encryption in 8 hours…

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