Research how quantum computing is being used in both enhancing cryptography, and weakening existing cryptography standards, and discuss these with the class. Based on your research, how do you think quantum computing will change the IT security field, and how long do think until we begin seeing these changes? A lot of this is very theoretical at this time, but how much longer until we will need a lot more than just one paragraph in this text that discusses quantum computing?

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Jason A Lindsley says

Quantum computing uses particles of light and superposition to transmit data as quantum bits (i.e. qubits). Where binary bits can only be a 0 or a 1, quantum mechanics allows the qubit to be in a superposition of both states at the same time.

Quantum cryptography has the potential to radically transform cryptography solutions. As highlighted in the recent article that Professor Green shared, quantum cryptography was recently used to establish an encrypted video conference between China and Austria. In this case quantum computing was used to for secure key exchange to encrypt the call. A satellite was used to create single particles of light to generate a random sequence of bits to server as a secret code, with which two parties can encrypt and decrypt messages using a one-time pad. Theoretically, the principles of quantum mechanics make it impossible for anyone other than the two parties to read a message without altering it.

Quantum computing also has the potential to weaken existing encryption solutions with the increased processing power it introduces. Standardization and implementation could be a decade (or several decades away), however security researches and other standards bodies (e.g. NIST) are already planning to define post-quantum standards for cryptography in anticipation of this threat to data security.

The video conference between China and Austria serve as a reminder that the age of quantum-computing is likely inevitable, however the timing for standardized implementation is still very much up in the air. It is important that we design security into these standards as we enter a future revolving around quantum computing. Hopefully it goes better than our first binary age of computing!

Neil Y. Rushi says

Jason you make some good points and with quantum computing, it can calculate algorithms way faster than computers now using binary. There’s an algorithm called Shor’s algorithm that can deem to break RSA because of how it can break calculations down to it’s prime numbers and it’s meant for quantum computing. But if a RSA value is very long say in trillion bits (terabytes), it may take a quantum computer to break since the rule is the longer the value, the harder it is to break. So security has to take this into factor and figure out how to make it so that like you said, have standards in place for quantum computing and RSA algorithms to not be so quickly calculated.

Fred Zajac says

We need more than one paragraph to discuss quantum computing now, because it is hear and tested.

Quantum computing evolves the way computer transfers information. The current process for computing is a binary code of (0 or 1). The 0 or 1 represents data and processes each bit, one at a time, either 0 or 1. Quantum computing has the ability to process the 0 and 1 at the same time. This ability is what make quantum computing much more efficient than our current computing systems. This ability is called, “Superposition”.

Superposition is the process of positioning in multiple places. An article from cosmosmagazine.com used a maze as an example. You are stuck in a maze and need to get out.

Today’s computing – you use “bits” 0 or 1 as a decision for certain direction. It has 4 states (00, 01, 10, 11) as direction choices. If the direction you choose is a dead-end, you go back and try the next direction. Eventually, you will figure out how to get out by making a directional decision, gathering information, processing the information, and repeat until the end of the flow chart.

Quantum computing – “Qubits” has the same 4 states or direction choices, but “Superposition” allows the Quantum computer to process all 4 states at the same time. This means you will be able to explore all 4 directions at the same time!

Quantum computing can process information much faster than our regular computer, and can be upgraded to go even faster. The faster processing of data enables a quantum computer to crack cryptosystems by processing key possibilities until discovered. Once the code is cracked, the message is decrypted and reviled. These computers are very new and expensive, but will have to replace standard computers as they become more popular. Why? Because the quantum computer is no match for current encryption techniques a regular computer can handle. They are predicted to be mass produced in 15 years.

Quantum computers cracking cryptosystem encryption technologies is a huge concern for regulated industries. Healthcare, Financial, and Government industries are regulated and required to keep private information for up to 6 years. What does this mean? Decision makers at these organizations will have to factor the quantum computers ability to decrypt current encryption technologies when making purchasing decisions. They are really left with two options: Buy new systems that are “Quantum resistant” or purchase a cryptosystem that will be obsolete.

For this alone, I believe quantum technology will be the standard in 20 years. The next phase is “Quark Scale computation” which according to Dave Wineland, Nobel Prize winner for his work in quantum computing would billion(s) of times smaller than the current semi-conductor. He goes on to explain Moore’s Law, and his belief in Universal computation, including planets, stars, and galaxies as one giant quantum computer. Whoa… What?

Younes Khantouri says

Fred,

Thank you for the explanation, Quantum computing is a new computer technology area of study based on the principles of Quantum Theory. This theory explains the nature and behavior of energy and matter on the quantum (atomic and subatomic) level. These new generation of computers would increase the capability to a modern supercomputers, they follow the laws of quantum physics to execute multiple tasks using all possible permutations simultaneously.

Sachin Shah says

great post Fred and explanation. Quantum computing is an off-shoot of Quantum Mechanics.. Standardization, Organization, and implementation may be decades away. Basically it is enhancing cyrptography in short -term but will be overtaking it long term.

Donald Hoxhaj says

In order to discuss the impact of Quantum Computing, it would easily require more than 1 paragraph to compare and contrast legacy cryptographic techniques to current techniques and its impact analysis. In the realm of existing security systems, Quantum Computing is far powerful than old Cryptographic techniques. While binary cryptographic systems depend on 1 or 0 systems to execute, Quantum Computing uses Quantum bits or what is also known as qubits. Relative to classic computing technique, Quantum Computing uses multiple states, instead of just 2, at the same time and this principle is known as Superposition. With the help of this, computers can easily use the different bits to process much larger information at a faster pace with little energy when compared with classic cryptographic execution stages. It is said that Quantum Computing is also capable to solve problems in Speech Recognition and Image Recognition too. It is imperative that sooner it would be possible to do a real-time speech and language translation using Quantum Computing.

Thought, Quantum Computing, brings a lot of advanced performance, it can easily weaken systems as mentioned by Jason above. This is because such systems are not fool proof and cause loss in transmission of data. The probability of errors and transmission of data across longer distances is still to be worked upon and the applicability is yet to be tested in every nook and corner.

Advent of Quantum Computing is drastically going to change the telecom space and information space in the IT Industry, thereby securing data transmissions with a much larger percentage. It might take another 3-5 years for experts to test its applicability across industry and applications.

Younes Khantouri says

Research how quantum computing is being used in both enhancing cryptography, and weakening existing cryptography standards, and discuss these with the class. Based on your research, how do you think quantum computing will change the IT security field, and how long do think until we begin seeing these changes? A lot of this is very theoretical at this time, but how much longer until we will need a lot more than just one paragraph in this text that discusses quantum computing?

Quantum computing is a new computer technology area of study based on the principles of Quantum Theory. This theory explains the nature and behavior of energy and matter on the quantum (atomic and subatomic) level. These new generation of computers would increase the capability to a modern supercomputers, they follow the laws of quantum physics to execute multiple tasks using all possible permutations simultaneously.

By doing a quick research on the web, these types of computers are already in the market which means that the changes in the IT security will be noticed soon. For example, in the field of encryption, as professor Green said in class are based on mathematical calculations to create a random algorithm which is required so many calculations that takes a long time in some cases. With the Quantum Computers, these calculations won’t take that long and it will be easier to create more complex encrypting algorithms.

Fraser G says

Research how quantum computing is being used in both enhancing cryptography, and weakening existing cryptography standards, and discuss these with the class. Based on your research, how do you think quantum computing will change the IT security field, and how long do think until we begin seeing these changes? A lot of this is very theoretical at this time, but how much longer until we will need a lot more than just one paragraph in this text that discusses quantum computing?

Quantum computing will no doubt be a paradigm shift in IT Security. The current models of encryption are based on very difficult math problems that are easy to compute one way but hard to do in reverse (e.g. factoring, logarithmic and elliptical curve solutions). Quantum computers will be able to solve these kinds of problems without difficulty, in much shorter time than is currently possible, I have no doubt that they are already being used. If you put this in context, the jump from conventional computers to quantum computers is similar to the jump from slide rule hand calculated cryptography to microprocessor based cryptography (which occurred sometime during and after WWII).

Cryptography will have to adapt and create harder solutions that cannot easily be solved on quantum computers. Just as technology for microprocessors has gotten better, so too will quantum technology. We will just have to come up with harder problems to solve. This work has already begun, Wikipedia lists 6 potential areas of research for “Post-Quantum Cryptography.”

What does this mean in practical terms? We will have to adopt new protocols and standards. IT Security will need quantum capability – probably not on premise for a while (if ever). It will look similar to the old mainframe days when you buy computing time from an organization. Perhaps not, maybe the technology will become available more rapidly and be commercially available.

Quantum computing is already well underway, if governments are allowing scientists to publish about it, they likely have something much more powerful in the skunkworks. I am reading a history of the NSA called “The Puzzle Palace” which was written in the 1980’s, one thing the author stresses is that the NSA has 1)The biggest budget (by far) of intelligence agencies and 2)They work to stay AT LEAST 10 years ahead of the current state of the art technology. I strongly believe that is still the case. (See http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2013/07/nsas-big-dig/67406/ )

Younes Khantouri says

Fraser,

I do agree with you, these types of computers are already in the market which means that the changes in the IT security will be noticed soon. For example, in the field of encryption, as professor Green said in class are based on mathematical calculations to create a random algorithm which is required so many calculations that takes a long time in some cases.

Brent Hladik says

So what is understood of quantum cryptography is that it can dramatically reduce the time needed to break a symmetric key algorithm as well as the aes-128 for example. When this does become mainstream a lot of the known standards will become obsolete due to how quick they will be broken.

In terms of the length of time needed to where this does become mainstream I think we will have a long time to prepare. As people are just now breaking into this technology trying to develop quantum computers for the first time here. Based on what I have found out that there are some companies currently using this technology for their CA related activities, how ever since it takes a while to gradually progress in this technology it may take a new generation of quantum computing like every 10-20 years or so till the next faster advance. It will be in the news and all once these become faster and faster and more widespread.

Oby Okereke says

Based on my research on Quantum cryptography, will definitely change the way computers work. Though much of its use is in theoretical state, much progress has been made lately. Take for instance Bitcoin. Some Bitcoin miners are already taking the advantage of quantum computing to mine coins to their advantage. As quantum cryptography grows and matures , I envisage a chaotic situation whereby the race for speed might break algorithms. IT security community must brace up because this change is yet to come but just like we could not imagine the common technological possibilities of today, quantum cryptography is upon us and will surely disrupt the way we sure information today.

Oby Okereke says

Based on my research,Quantum cryptography will definitely change the way computers work. Though much of its use is in theoretical state, much progress has been made lately. Take for instance Bitcoin. Some Bitcoin miners are already taking advantage of quantum computing to mine coins at a faster pace to their advantage. As quantum cryptography grows and matures , I envisage a chaotic situation whereby the race for speed might break algorithms. IT security community must brace up for this change is yet to come but just like we could not imagine the common technological possibilities of today, quantum cryptography is upon us and will surely disrupt the way we secure information today.

Shi Yu Dong says

So what is comprehended of quantum cryptography is that it can drastically decrease the time expected to break a symmetric key calculation and in addition the aes-128 for instance. At the point when this becomes standard a ton of the known models will wind up plainly old because of how brisk they will be broken.

As far as the time span expected to where this becomes standard I figure we will have quite a while to plan. As individuals are a few seconds ago breaking into this innovation attempting to create quantum PCs out of the blue here. In light of what I have discovered that there are a few organizations right now utilizing this innovation for their CA related exercises, how as far back as it requires a significant stretch of time to progressively advance in this innovation it might take another age of quantum registering like each 10-20 years or so till the following quicker progress. It will be in the news and all once these turn out to be speedier and quicker and more across the board.

Ryan P Boyce says

Quantum computing is still some time away from being used extensively and by extensively I mean used by well-funded organizations and governments, even. In this sense, modern cryptography is still a valid means of security. When quantum computing becomes more prevalent, however, what will become of these modern protocols? According to an article from Quantum Magazine, our fears shouldn’t be so large. The article sites a paper co-authored by Penn Professor, Nadia Heninger, that reasons RSA algorithms are faster than a classical computer and a quantum computer (running Shor’s algorithm). “RSA is not entirely dead even if quantum computers are practical”, Heninger

https://www.quantamagazine.org/why-quantum-computers-might-not-break-cryptography-20170515/