Y2Q Quantum Threats Lurking, Are You Prepared?
Prepare Now for Year Y2Q Quantum Threats
Excerpts and salient points ~
+ Quantum computers are expected to supply the most powerful computing capabilities ever. Advances in quantum computing are finally beginning to reach commercial applications, such as IBM’s Q System One, the world’s first quantum computing system designed for commercial use, or Google’s claimed “quantum supremacy” when its computer successfully completed a task in 200 seconds that would have taken a traditional computer thousands of years to complete.
[I]t is highly unlikely that quantum computers breach cryptographic defenses soon, still, “Y2Q” — the year in which quantum code-cracking becomes a major headache — may arrive faster than we think.
+ But quantum computers could also undermine the cryptographic defenses of data and electronic communications such as in e-commerce sites, emails, credit bank accounts, etc. Quantum computers aren’t powerful enough to do this today. A US National Academies study says that to pose a real threat, quantum machines will need far more processing power than today’s best quantum machines have achieved. However, it is possible that in a little more than a decade — and perhaps even sooner — these machines could be a threat to widely used cryptography methods.
+ There are two main types of encryption. Symmetric encryption requires a sender and a receiver to have identical digital keys to encrypt and decrypt data, whereas asymmetric — or public-key — encryption uses a publicly available key to let people encrypt messages for a recipient who is the sole holder of the private key needed to unscramble them. Sometimes these two approaches are used together.
+ New kinds of cryptographic approaches that can be implemented using today’s classical computers but will be impervious to attacks from tomorrow’s quantum ones are called post-quantum cryptography. The aim is to zero in on one or a few methods that can be widely adopted. The US National Institute of Standards and Technology launched a process in 2016 to develop standards for post-quantum encryption for government use.
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