Thursday, November 16, 2023

What to do about Quantum Computing?

There's a good (if geeky) read from the UK National Cyber Security Centre on how to prepare your organization for Quantum Computing.  From the article:

Quantum computers use properties of quantum mechanics to compute in a fundamentally different way from today's digital, 'classical', computers. They are, theoretically, capable of performing certain computations that would not be feasible for classical computers. Although advances in quantum computing technology continue to be made, quantum computers today are still limited, and suffer from relatively high error rates in each operation they perform.

In the future, it is possible that error rates can be lowered such that a large, general-purpose quantum computer could exist. It is, however, impossible to predict when this may happen as many engineering and physical challenges must be overcome first. If such a computer could exist in the future, most traditional public key cryptography (PKC) algorithms in use today will be vulnerable to attacks from it.

Breaking Public Key Crypto is A Very Bad Thing Indeed, and would basically break the Internet.  If you're in the security field, you really should read this.



danielbarger said...

Presumably once quantum computing becomes available then it could be used to create security protocols that are more secure.

Rick T said...

The protocols are available now, but all parties have to shift, so there is a coordination issue. If you read the article it is all about 'someday we will have the millions of qubits to do real computations' but they are only around 1,000 qubits now for the biggest systems announced.

McChuck said...

Meh. Quantum computing is overrated. Quantum computing is high-dollar analog computing. "Entangled particles" = two bits that are always opposite. "Uncertainty" = inherent errors and fundamental limits. "Superposition" = it's a complex waveform and we haven't measured it yet.