Will quantum security change online security?

02 September 2012

Question

Will quantum security change online security?

Answer

Ross - Quantum computing appears to be somewhat stalled. It showed great promise back in the 1990s where there was a prospect of algorithms that wouldn't allow people to factor large numbers quickly and the Los Alamos report, which looked at the state of the art in prospects said 10 years ago, that within a decade, that is by now, we should have proper working quantum computers that we could use to explore architecture. But we're still stuck at the stage of messing around with machines with a maximum of 7 cubits. And now, scientists are beginning to wonder why it is that quantum computing doesn't work as it promised and this, with luck, may lead to breakthroughs in physics, but I don't see it as changing the world of cryptography any time soon.

Dave - So, by 7 cubits, you mean that they can factor a number up to that 128?

Ross - Well in fact, the largest number they've been able to factor so far is 15.

Dave - Probably not that useful.

Ross - So, there's something missing there and what's missing is a source of interesting research in its own right.

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