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Quantum Computing That Can Crack Modern Encryption More Than a Decade Away

Published: December 5, 2018
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Source: Nextgov

Quantum computers with the ability to crack today’s encrypted systems are at least 10 years away from development, according to a report compiled by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

However, the report—released Tuesday—makes clear that quantum computers pose a dramatic threat to the encryption that secures today’s networks and computer systems and calls for the development of cryptography immune to quantum computers as fast as possible.

“Even if a quantum computer that can decrypt current cryptographic ciphers is more than a decade off, the hazard of such a machine is high enough—and the timeframe for transitioning to a new security protocol is sufficiently long and uncertain—that prioritization of the development, standardization, and deployment of a post-quantum cryptography is critical for minimizing the chance of a potential security and privacy disaster,” the report states.

The report was requested by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in an effort to determine the current state of the art in the field, progress toward general-purpose quantum computers and the ramifications of the technology.

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Cryptocoins could be doomed when quantum computers become a reality

Researchers from MIT say that they have developed the world’s first five-atom quantum computer, and they assert that it is capable of cracking today’s traditional encryption methods—today’s most notable encryption methods.

In room-size metal boxes, secure against electromagnetic leaks, the National Security Agency is racing to build a computer that could break nearly every kind of encryption used to protect banking, medical, business and government records around the world.

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