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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Is Q-Day Coming?

Brought to my attention.   Note mention of D-Wave Annealing, recall we connected to  them.  Could this mean the ability to break most encryption?  Breaking many parts of security infrastructures.   Scary?  Encrypting better with annealing?   See also the most recent Security Now for more comments.     Is the claim about D-Wave accurate?  Following up. 

Q-Day Is Coming Sooner Than We Think  By Arthur Herman Contributor  in Forbes, introduction: 

I comment on quantum computing and AI, and American national security.

Jun 7, 2021,01:37pm EDT

“Q-Day” is the term some experts use to describe when large-scale quantum computers are able to factorize the large prime numbers that underlie our public encryption systems, such as the ones that are supposed to protect our bank accounts, financial markets, and most vital infrastructure. That’s a feat that’s all but impossible for even the fastest supercomputers but which the unique features of quantum computers, using the physics of superpositioning and entanglement, will be able to deliver.

There’s a growing consensus that this quantum threat is real; there’s no agreement how long it will take before a quantum computer has the 4000 or so stable qubits it will need to meet the requirements of Shor’s algorithm for cracking those encryption systems. 

For example, it would take a classical computer 300 trillion years to crack an RSA-2048 bit encryption key. A quantum computer can do the same job in just ten seconds with 4099 stable qubits—but getting to that number is the main problem quantum computer engineers face since the stability or coherence of qubits lasts only for microseconds. Today’s most entangled computer, Google’s GOOG -1.1% Bristlecone, has just 72 stable qubits. 

Nonetheless, I have been arguing for the past four years, including in this column, that Q-Day is likely to come sooner than even quantum scientists can predict, and that the time to get ready to protect our vulnerable data and networks is now.  Others prefer to procrastinate, citing other experts who say such a threat is at least a decade or more away. The fact that the National Institute of Standards and Technology won’t have its quantum-resistant algorithm standards ready until 2024, and expects the rollout to space out for another five to fifteen years, has helped to encourage complacency disguised as confidence.  ... ' 

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