The first quantum computers won’t be that far off in the future. Cyber security experts are already worrying about their potential to make most of today’s security technologies obsolete. The US National Institute of standards and technology warned earlier this year and issued a call for help on the matter. Now, the Global Risk Institute joined them as well.
Due to the power and speed that quantum computers will bring, some experts predict a one in seven chance that current public key cryptography can possibly be broken by the year 2026. By 2001, this chance will increase by a further 50%, according to Michele Mosca, the co-founder of the University of Waterloo’s Institute for quantum computing.
“Although the quantum attacks are not happening yet, critical decisions need to be taken today in order to be able to respond to these threats in the future,” he was cited as saying.
One major difference with quantum computers is that they work in a fundamentally different way as compared to traditional computer systems. Today’s computers represent numbers simply by 0s or 1s. Quantum computing on the other hand works with atomic scale units called quantum bits or qubits. Those qubits can be zeros and ones at the same time by making use of a state that is known as superposition. The result of is superior speed and performance when it comes to complex operation. The breaking of cryptography codes would be among them.
Mosca, in a public statement: “One unintended consequence of quantum computation is