Quantum Computing and Defeating Encryption: Why this is only years away, not decades as being reported
By reading articles about Quantum Computers in today's newspaper business sections or magazines you come away with the notion Quantum Computers defeating todays cryptography is decades away from happening. This is a totally false conclusion. Why is this so?
Reporters interviewing representatives of the big-name quantum computer players, IBM, Microsoft, Intel, Google and others are only going to hear about commercial application and never about "politically incorrect applications", e.g. defeating encryption. Say hypothetically, a reporter were to interview a quantum computer guru from the NSA or their Russian or Chinese counterparts, you would get a different story on a time line for quantum computing defeating today's cryptography. Of course, reporters are never going to get such interviews.
To present a more accurate view of nation-state, quantum computing readiness to defeat today's cryptography in the near term, this webinar agenda is divided into five sessions.
- Quantum Computing Technology Basics and Buzz Words Important to Understand
One cannot guage the time line readiness of quantum computer development without understanding performance metrics. This opening session, light on quantum physics and math will explain key performance measures; qubits, qubit entanglement, quantum gates and more needed for cyber security executives to make time line decisions.
- Quantum Computer Architecture for Commercial Applications vs. Defeating Cryptography Options
Today's Quantum Computer champions: IBM, Microsoft, Intel, Google and others are developing and/or supporting three basic quantum computer technologies designed for commercial applications. These options will be presented with their target applications.
Followed by Quantum Computer architectures, order of magnitude simpler than commercial focused ones when the goal is simply to defeat today's cryptography. Specifically, what are the two major design differences and why these focussed quantum computers are only years away from deployment.
- Defeating Encryption and Other Cryptographic Functions
First, how quantum computers can defeat today's Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Algorithms (RSA, D-H and ECC) by applying the Shor Algorithm. Second, the outlook for defeating Symmetric Key Encryption followed by defeating Bitcoin Blockchain and Blockchain 2.0 hashing.
The really bad news for the “wait and see” crypto decision makers is unless a “Snowden Type” comes forward and leaks the heavily classified information on nation-state Quantum Computers in place defeating today’s encryption, enterprise cyber security executives will be left in the dark. So, what are the counters to quantum computers to keep alive cryptography as we know today? Two approaches, one a software only fix, Quantum Safe Algorithms (QSA) and the other, a optical hardware solution, Quantum Key Distribution (QKD).
- Quantum Safe Algorithms (QSA)
Today's Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) algorithms were chosen decades ago because of their deployment simplicity and resistance to conventional computer code breaking. The quantum safe cryptography community is revisiting rejected algorithms based on hashing, error correction coding, advanced linear algebra and other heavy mathematical schemes. This session briefly covers these and other options along with who are their corporate champions and what vendors offers QSA products today.
- Quantum Key Distribution (QKD)
QSA discussed above in theory seems like a good solution. Just add software to exisitng client/servers and the quantum computer scare goes away. But does this adage apply. "If it sounds too good to be true it probably is”. Some think yes so enter QKD.
If you can't beat Quantum Physicists, why not join them. QKD is an optical hardware solution to distribute encryption keys such that if intercepted the recipient would know this and regect the distributed key. This session addresses how QKD works, who has satellite QKD solutions (e.g. China), who has deployed operational QKD fiber networks (again China), who has developed technology to deploy QKD over today's telecom fiber network services (BT and other telecoms) and more.
Followed by Audience Q&A
Jerry Lucas (PhD, Physics)
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