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Saturday, January 14, 2023

China's New Quantum Code-breaking Algorithm Raises Concerns in the US

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China's new quantum code-breaking algorithm raises concerns in the US  in InterestingEngineering

The new algorithm could render mainstream encryption powerless within years.

By Baba Tamim, Created: Jan 12, 2023 in NYT

Chinese researchers claim to have introduced a new code-breaking algorithm that, if successful, could render mainstream encryption powerless within years rather than decades.

The team, led by Professor Long Guilu of Tsinghua University, proclaimed that a modest quantum computer constructed with currently available technology could run their algorithm, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported on Wednesday. 

The "new algorithm could dramatically reduce the scale of a practical quantum computer to 372 qubits – even less than that of Osprey [most powerful quantum processor in the world]," said the researchers in a non-peer-reviewed study. 

Large-number factoring, a challenging process for conventional computers, can be accelerated by quantum computers to break codes quickly.

However, it is generally accepted that in order to breach a bank account secured by cutting-edge encryption, such a machine would need to manage millions of qubits, the fundamental building block of quantum information.

The new technique

The new technique developed by the Chinese team has the potential to drastically lower the size of a practical quantum computer to 372 qubits, noted the SCMP report.

This is even less than IBM's Osprey, the most potent quantum computer in the world, which only has 433 qubits and is incapable of cracking codes.

The Chinese researchers argue that their new algorithm, called sublinear-resource quantum integer factorization (SQIF), can decipher data encrypted with RSA-2048.  ... ' 

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