“Quantum computing” is the computation that is carried out with the help of a computing device on the strange, counter automated physical elements of matter at a very small amount, which is termed as quantum mechanics. In this article, we will do a complete analysis of the relation between quantum computing and cryptography.
The promise made by quantum computing is that it will help us to solve the most complex challenges of the world. It will have capabilities that exceed the most powerful supercomputers in the world. As the global community of scientists, quantum researchers, business leaders, and engineers continue to participate to take forward the quantum ecosystem, we wish to see quantum impact stimulated across every industry.
Quantum Computing And Its Impact On Cryptography
Cryptography is the science of decrypting and encrypting data to ensure the privacy of the communication of organizations and individuals online. Encryption protects everything from sending messages to your friends and family, to banks transferring huge amounts to other banks, and these transactions take place in a matter of milliseconds. These encryption scenarios generally use two methods: public key cryptography and symmetric key cryptography. In quantum computing symmetric encryption both the receiver and the sender must be aware of a common encryption key that is used to decrypt and encrypt the messages sent. In contrast, public key cryptography allows both the parties to receive and send keys without any sharing of the key. Now that you know what cryptography is, it will be easier for you to understand quantum information computing and cryptography.
What Are The Relations Between Quantum Computing And Crypto Mining?
It is expected that within a decade, quantum computers can be powerful enough to break the cryptographic security that defends bank accounts, cell phones, email addresses, and also bitcoin wallets. There are relations between the quantum computing and cryptocurrency mining.
Classical Vs Quantum Computing
Let us see what relation quantum computing and crypto have in mathematical terms. The public key cryptosystems that are being used presently are based on a few difficult mathematical problems. For instance, For example, the security of the RSA public-key cryptosystem resides on the hardness of factoring products of two large prime numbers – if we take for instance two 300-digit prime numbers we can multiply them easily to obtain a ~600-digit product, but if we begin with just the product it is difficult to find out the two smaller factors, no matter how much classical computing strength is available for the task.
In the early 90s, Dr. Peter Shor at AT&T Bell Laboratories found an algorithm that had the ability to factor products of two large numbers that are prime, quickly. But his algorithm required a quantum computer for running. Known as “Shor’s Algorithm”, his method defeats the RSA encryption algorithm with the help of a big quantum computer. Now you may wonder, can quantum computers break cryptography? Yes, a quantum computer that has enough stable qubits to break the present public key cryptography.
Why Is Quantum Computing A Threat To Cryptography?
To address this threat, the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) whose motive is to promote industrial competitiveness and innovation across a wide spectrum of technologies and challenges that includes cyber security that has just initiated the procedure of standardizing new public key algorithms of cryptography that fails to be attacked efficiently even with the help of a quantum computer. From participants across the globe, the main motive of this project is to identify new cryptographic algorithms that are quantum resistant cryptography to attacks by the quantum computers and then standardize them for wider use. So quantum computing and cryptography go together despite the bans and boons.
It will take a while before large-scale quantum computing and cryptography become a reality. Experts are trying to find out the mechanisms of cryptography to change to new schemes that will be able to resist quantum attacks. This alteration should take place well before the systems become vulnerable to attacks. One should also note that this change or transition would be a tough issue to solve.
Do Quantum Computers Exist?
Yes, after long quantum cryptography research and trials there are simple, small scale quantum computers that have been built and have been demonstrated successfully. Presently these are laboratory instruments that are big in size, complex to use, expensive, and have limited capabilities. But they do not prove that the underlying physical properties are sound.
The main challenge is to create a big quantum computer that can solve every task effectively and better than classical computers.
Quantum Computing Impact On Society
Many important dimensions of IT security depend on encryption and public key cryptography, which are important for e-commerce and protecting secret electronic information.
These methods are based on mathematical algorithms that are very hard to “break”. Modern algorithms with appropriate key lengths (e.g. AES-128, RSA-2048, ECDSA-256, etc.) are not susceptible to force attack – even with huge amounts of computing power, they would take 100 years or, in some cases, even longer than a lifetime of the universe to break.
However, unique algorithms for quantum computers can be created for example “Shor’s algorithm” that reduce the time it takes to break these algorithms.
Symmetric algorithms that are used for encryption, like AES, are still thought to be secure; however, present symmetric algorithms like ECDSA and RSA will be rendered useless once quantum computers attain a certain scale. So if you are wondering what will be the future of cryptography with large quantum computers then this is your answer. So quantum computing and cryptography are two interdependent elements.
But no one knows when large quantum computers will be available. It depends on various engineering and scientific factors that were made. So it is expected to come in the next 5-10 years or 20-30 years. It may take many more years before normal people get access to such computers outside government agencies. This uncertainty of getting quantum computers is the biggest worry that the governments and businesses are facing.
How Will Quantum Computing Impact The Effectiveness Of Cryptography?
Although quantum computers are still in their non-operational infancy, with publicly identified experimental quantum computers very small to attack conventional cryptographic problems, many organizations and national governments have started to evaluate the risk and the effects that are involved when this technology changes to a practical reality.
Leading technology companies and Military agencies have already raised fundings and initiated processes in manufacturing quantum computers because of the fact that they can conduct massive amounts of data in a comparatively short amount of time. With the amount of practical and theoretical research that is being conducted, the invention of the practical quantum computer is not far away.
Quantum computing cryptography systems provide computational security but do not ensure durability and absoluteness. The potential of the present cryptographic algorithms depends on complicated mathematical problems, such as integer factorization and elliptic curve discrete logarithm problems.
These complex problems can be solved with the help of large-scale quantum computers and therefore can easily solve conventional algorithms. As a result, security experts have started creating new encryption algorithms that are thought to be quantum-resistant that can’t be cracked as quickly as conventional algorithms.
The relationship between quantum computing and cryptography is very much evident from the above article. There are many mathematicians within the government and academia working on a number of candidate “quantum-resistant” problems that cannot be segregated using quantum computers. There are more small computers required that are suitable for solving these complex problems.
Frequently Asked Questions On Quantum Computing And Cryptography
Quantum computers can be used theoretically to break all implementations that are existing of a symmetric cryptography which is not only RSA but an elliptic curve and Diffie-Hellman cryptography as well.
Quantum computers will damage some of the cryptographic principles associated with blockchain. On the other hand, the very potential of the quantum computer shows a threat to the existing cybersecurity domain. In particular, the quantum computer will crush some of the cryptographic principles that are associated with the blockchain.
Quantum computing and cryptography is the science of exploiting the mechanical properties of quantum to perform the tasks of cryptography. A well known example of quantum cryptography is a quantum key distribution which provides a theoretically secure solution to the problem of key exchange.
According to a recent study conducted by the Global Risk Institute, there is a
“one in seven chances that some of the fundamental public-key cryptography tools upon which we rely today will be broken [by emerging quantum computing technologies] by 2026 and a 50% chance by 2031.”