Researchers claim a way to break encryption using an existing quantum computer

a a group of Chinese Researchers claim they can crack a widely used encryption scheme using an existing quantum computer, creating a potential boon for surveillance and a crisis for data protection.

It was authored by more than twenty researchers from seven research institutions in China paper Describes a method using a 372-kilobyte computer to break RSA encryption Instead of the theoretical quantum computer containing tens of millions of qubits that it once had Thought it was needed.

The repercussions are serious.

Congress wants federal agencies to deploy secure quantum cryptography

said Brian Weir, CEO LookingGlass Electronic Solutions. “This means that all secrets are at risk — nuclear weapons, banking, commercial intellectual property, and intelligence agencies, among others, are at risk of losing their privacy and integrity.”

Quantum computing is still in its infancy, but cybersecurity experts worry that quantum computers will eventually become powerful enough to break common cryptographic systems in a matter of minutes instead of the thousands of years that traditional modern computers need. However, this possibility was supposed to be several years away.

Only in December, Congress enact a law Requesting the Office of Management and Budget to prioritize federal agencies’ acquisition of information technology systems using post-quantum cryptography in an effort to deal with future developments in quantum computing.

But if the Chinese researchers are correct, the future is now. In November 2022, IBM announced that it had done so Building a computer running 433 qubitslarger than a quantum computer that the researchers say is needed to crack RSA encryption.

However, the researchers’ claims have been met with skepticism in some cybersecurity circles.

The Chinese research is theoretical, and the basic research on which it is based is “highly controversial,” he told Ware Washington Examiner. He added that the paper may be an attempt by China to show that it leads the world in quantum computing, but that organizations that rely on traditional encryption should start looking for other ways to protect data.

He added, “Even if their claims are not 100% true, there is a limited window for protecting secrets with quantum post cryptography.”

Vincent Burke, the company’s chief strategy and revenue officer, said the paper sparks conversations across the cybersecurity industry. Quantum Xchangea company that offers quantum security.

“I’m grappling with the question: ‘If you really hacked RSA, would you release all the details, or would you go and crack the cryptocurrency? ” Washington Examiner.

However, the Chinese search is based on an improved version of the 1995 Quantum Computing Algorithm Written by MIT Professor Peter Schorr, Schorr said he saw no flaw in the paper, Burke noted. Whether or not the research paper is correct, traditional cryptographic systems will soon be in danger.

“It is strongly believed that if the mathematics of one of our approved cryptographic algorithms is defeated, the others will too,” Burke said. “If a virtual method is found in cryptographic mathematics, all communications, emails, website traffic, financial transactions, social media, cryptocurrency, etc. will fall.”

Whether the Chinese paper is accurate or not, the day is coming when quantum computers can break existing encryption, said Petko Stoyanov, global chief technology officer of a computer security provider. strength point.

Stoyanov told Washington Examiner.

Stoyanov recommended that organizations that fear the downfall of existing cryptographic systems should implement other methods of data protection, including multi-factor authentication, data encryption, and pseudo-anonymization. They must also create data retention and deletion rules that limit the data they store and process.

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If there is good news, Stoyanov said, it is that nation-states are the only attackers capable of providing and building a sufficiently powerful quantum computer.

However, “if the encryption is broken, nation states with quantum cryptography could, in theory, not only decrypt encrypted phone calls but potentially alter information in encrypted systems during data transmission,” he added. “All telecommunications, from emails to bank transfers and power plant control systems, rely on encryption.”

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