Reply to post: Re: Quantum has a simple flaw

Protecting data now as the quantum era approaches

DS999 Silver badge

Re: Quantum has a simple flaw

When you see a Chinese researcher say "its 10000 times faster", thats garbage, because it would need to be infinity faster if it actually worked

You clearly don't understand how this works. They aren't worried about the encryption being compromised (i.e. AES or whatever) they are worried about the key exchange being compromised. If you are using a key exchange method depending on prime factors, a working quantum computer will make short work of factoring those numbers.

Even if it can't handle enough bits to factor it instantly, if it can handle 10 bits worth of simultaneous states that's 1024x faster factorization than today (assuming it can test the same number of factors per second, which may be a problematic assumption, but leave that aside for now)

So yes quantum computers can speed things up, assuming we can get them to work. Now whether that will ever happen is not known. You are assuming you understand how quantum mechanics works, when no physicist in the world will make that claim. Schroedinger's model might be how things actually work, no one knows for now, including you. It certainly has not been disproven.

So we can either decide to take your view and assume quantum computers will never work, and if they do they will never be able to factor large numbers thus compromising key exchange. Or we can decide to play it safe and use something that would not be vulnerable to quantum computers if/when they appear.

If we play it safe, and are wrong, our data is still encrypted so we lose nothing other than the cost of updating systems (or for most people, simply letting the old systems/software age out be replaced by new ones using quantum resistant cryptography)

If we stick your head in the sand like you advocate, and are wrong, then when quantum computers arrive not only are we left scrambling trying to fix the problem at the time, we also have to be concerned that if data exchanges in the past (years, decades even) were stored by an adversary, all that data can be decrypted. Most of us don't care, if someone can decrypt an ssh session of mine from 20 years ago and get the password I only lose if I'm dumb enough to still be using the same password. Governments and major corporations do have reason to care, and thus a reason to play it safe given that the cost is not all that high and the risk is massive.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon