'The dark side' of quantum computersSeptember 13, 2017
The era of fully fledged quantum computers threatens to destroy internet security as we know it. Researchers are in a race against time to prepare new cryptographic techniques before the arrival of quantum computers, as cryptographers Tanja Lange (Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands) and Daniel J. Bernstein (University of Illinois at Chicago, USA) describe today in the journal Nature. In their publication they analyze the options available for this so-called post-quantum cryptography.
The expectation is that quantum computers will be built some time after 2025. Such computers make use of quantum-mechanical properties and can therefore solve some particular problems much faster than our current computers. This will be useful for calculating models for weather forecasts or developing new medicine. However, these operations also affect protection of data using RSA and ECC. With today's technologies these systems will not be broken in a hundred years but a quantum computer will break these within days if not hours.
Sensitive data in the open
Without protection a lot of sensitive information will be out in the open, even data from years back. "An attacker can record our secure communication today and break it with a quantum computer years later. All of today's secrets will be lost," warns Tanja Lange, professor of Cryptology at Eindhoven University of Technology. This concerns private data, bank and health records, but also state secrets. Lange saw the importance of alternative systems already back in 2006 and is busy with creating awareness and developing new systems. "Fairly recently we're seeing an uptake of post-quantum cryptography in the security agencies, e.g., the NSA, and companies start demanding solutions."
Lange leads the research consortium PQCRYPTO consisting of eleven universities and companies. PQCRYPTO started in 2015 with 3.9 million euro funding from the European Commission to develop new cryptographic techniques. "This might seem like a lot of money, but is a factor of 100 less than what goes into building quantum computers." says Lange. She cautions that it is important to strengthen research in cryptography. "Bringing cryptographic techniques to the end user takes often another 15 to 20 years, after development and standardization."
In their Nature publication Lange and Bernstein explain that a certain quantum algorithm, namely Shor's algorithm, breaks all cryptographic techniques that are currently used to establish secure connections on the Internet. Candidates for post-quantum cryptography can roughly be categorized into two types: they are either very well understood and confidence-inspiring but require a lot of bandwidth or they are more convenient to use but provide more questionable security.
The publication appears in an issue of Nature with special attention to topics related to quantum computers: from different candidates of elementary building blocks of quantum computers till, e.g., the development of new algorithms. The journal invited Lange to write the article on post-quantum cryptography.
Eindhoven University of Technology
Related Quantum Computers Articles:
Study takes step toward mass-producible quantum computers.
Quantum field theories are often hard to verify in experiments.
Researchers at Aalto University have invented a quantum-circuit refrigerator, which can reduce errors in quantum computing.
First 3-D quantum liquid crystals may have applications in quantum computing.
A team of researchers from RMIT, the University of Sydney and UTS have devised an entirely new way of implementing large-scale interferometers that will dramatically miniaturize optical processing circuitry.
An international team of scientists has succeeded in making further improvements to the lifetime of superconducting quantum circuits.
Scientists at the University of Sussex have invented a ground-breaking new method that puts the construction of large-scale quantum computers within reach of current technology.
How can quantum information be stored as long as possible?
Scientists at EPFL and PSI have discovered a new class of materials that can prove ideal for the implementation of spintronics.
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
Related Quantum Computers Reading:
Quantum Computing: A Gentle Introduction (Scientific and Engineering Computation)
by Eleanor G. Rieffel (Author), Wolfgang H. Polak (Author)
A thorough exposition of quantum computing and the underlying concepts of quantum physics, with explanations of the relevant mathematics and numerous examples.
The combination of two of the twentieth century's most influential and revolutionary scientific theories, information theory and quantum mechanics, gave rise to a radically new view of computing and information. Quantum information processing explores the implications of using quantum mechanics instead of classical mechanics to model information and its processing. Quantum computing is not about changing the physical... View Details
Q is for Quantum
by Terry Rudolph (Author)
COMPUTING. ENTANGLEMENT. REALITY. Books containing these three words are typically fluff or incomprehensible; this one is not. "Q is for Quantum" teaches a theory at the forefront of modern physics to an audience presumed to already know only basic arithmetic. Topics covered range from the practical (new technologies we can expect soon) to the foundational (old ideas that attempt to make sense of the theory). The theory is built up precisely and quantitatively. Deceptively vague jargon and analogies are avoided, and mysterious features of the theory are made explicit and not skirted. The... View Details
Quantum Computer Science: An Introduction
by N. David Mermin (Author)
In the 1990's it was realized that quantum physics has some spectacular applications in computer science. This book is a concise introduction to quantum computation, developing the basic elements of this new branch of computational theory without assuming any background in physics. It begins with an introduction to the quantum theory from a computer-science perspective. It illustrates the quantum-computational approach with several elementary examples of quantum speed-up, before moving to the major applications: Shor's factoring algorithm, Grover's search algorithm, and quantum error... View Details
An Overview of Quantum Computing: " The State of The Art In Computers "
by Edited by Paul F. Kisak (Author)
Quantum computing uses the phenomena of quantum mechanics to perform it’s calculations. The computational speed would be orders of magnitude greater than present day digital computers that we have become used to using whether it be a large scale mainframe or a desktop, laptop, tablet or phone. The digital computer uses bits which are a binary form of utilizing information in one of two states – either a 1 or a 0. The quantum computer uses quantum bits or qbits which can utilize data in a variety of states due to the quantum mechanical principles of superposition and entanglement. These... View Details
Quantum Computing for Computer Scientists
by Noson S. Yanofsky (Author), Mirco A. Mannucci (Author)
The multidisciplinary field of quantum computing strives to exploit some of the uncanny aspects of quantum mechanics to expand our computational horizons. Quantum Computing for Computer Scientists takes readers on a tour of this fascinating area of cutting-edge research. Written in an accessible yet rigorous fashion, this book employs ideas and techniques familiar to every student of computer science. The reader is not expected to have any advanced mathematics or physics background. After presenting the necessary prerequisites, the material is organized to look at different aspects of quantum... View Details
Quantum Computing for Babies (Baby University)
by Chris Ferrie (Author), whurley (Author)
Simple explanations of complex ideas for your future genius!
Written by experts, Quantum Computing for Babies is a colorfully simple introduction to the magical world of quantum computers. Babies (and grownups!) will discover the difference between bits and qubits and how quantum computers will change our future. With a tongue-in-cheek approach that adults will love, this installment of the Baby University board book series is the perfect way to introduce basic concepts to even the youngest scientists. After all, it's never too early to become a quantum physicist!... View Details
Programming the Universe: A Quantum Computer Scientist Takes on the Cosmos
by Seth Lloyd (Author)
Is the universe actually a giant quantum computer? According to Seth Lloyd, the answer is yes. All interactions between particles in the universe, Lloyd explains, convey not only energy but also information–in other words, particles not only collide, they compute. What is the entire universe computing, ultimately? “Its own dynamical evolution,” he says. “As the computation proceeds, reality unfolds.” Programming the Universe, a wonderfully accessible book, presents an original and compelling vision of reality, revealing our world in an entirely new light. View Details
Quantum Computing since Democritus
by Scott Aaronson (Author)
Written by noted quantum computing theorist Scott Aaronson, this book takes readers on a tour through some of the deepest ideas of maths, computer science and physics. Full of insights, arguments and philosophical perspectives, the book covers an amazing array of topics. Beginning in antiquity with Democritus, it progresses through logic and set theory, computability and complexity theory, quantum computing, cryptography, the information content of quantum states and the interpretation of quantum mechanics. There are also extended discussions about time travel, Newcomb's Paradox, the... View Details
Quantum Computers. Are they our Future?
This book is for individuals who want to know more about the future of computing and the quantum computing technology. If you have heard about quantum computers but you have not understood how they will operate, this book will unearth everything that you need to know. You will also know the differences between classical computers and quantum computers in terms of how they operate. The author aims at helping the reader understand what quantum computers are, how they work and where they can be used. Currently, no functional quantum computers have been developed but a lot has been done towards... View Details
Quantum Computer Science (Synthesis Lectures on Quantum Computing)
by Marco Lanzagorta (Contributor), Jeffrey Uhlmann (Contributor)
In this text we present a technical overview of the emerging field of quantum computation along with new research results by the authors. What distinguishes our presentation from that of others is our focus on the relationship between quantum computation and computer science. Specifically, our emphasis is on the computational model of quantum computing rather than on the engineering issues associated with its physical implementation. We adopt this approach for the same reason that a book on computer programming doesn't cover the theory and physical realization of semiconductors. Another... View Details