They broke RSA encryption

Computer security experts have found it hard to believe a study by Chinese researchers it cites they found a way to break through the most common form of online encryption [link is paywalled] using the current generation of quantum computers.

We have been reporting for some time now that this technology will pose a very serious threat.

encryption

The Financial Times reports:

The method, described in a scientific study [PDF] published in late December, could be used to crack the RSA algorithm that underpins most online encryption using a quantum machine with just 372 qubits — or quantum bits, according to 24 researchers from academic institutions and government laboratories.

Dangerous? IBM has already said that its 433-qubit Osprey system, the most powerful quantum computer ever to be shown publicly, will be available to its customers from early this year.

If the research is correct, it will mark an important moment in the history of computer security, said Roger Grimes, a computer security expert and author.

“It would mean that governments could break secrets of other governments. If true – a big if – it would be like a secret straight out of the movies, and one of the greatest things in computer science.”

Other experts say that while the theory described in the research seems sound, trying to put it into practice could well be beyond the reach of today's quantum technology.

"As far as I can tell, the paper is not wrong," said Peter Shor, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientist whose 1994 algorithm proving that a quantum machine could defeat electronic encryption helped spark a research boom in quantum computing.

But Shor's method requires machines with many hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of qubits, which many experts believe is still a decade or more away.

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RSA, encryption, data encryption

Written by giorgos

George still wonders what he's doing here ...

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