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The quantum threat: what really matters today?


Tech1 (718A) November 15, 2017 1:25 pm - 2:25 pm Feedback     

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Michele Mosca
Vlad Gheorghiu

Quantum computers will break currently deployed public-key cryptography (RSA, ECC, Diffie-Hellman, etc.) which is one of the pillars of modern-day cybersecurity. Thus, we need to migrate our systems and practices to ones that cannot be broken by quantum computers before large-scale quantum computers are built.

Impressive progress in developing the building blocks of a fault-tolerant scalable quantum computer indicates that the prospect of a large-scale quantum computer is a medium-term threat. I estimate a 1/6 chance of breaking RSA-2048 within a decade.

Has anything of practical relevance happened in the past 12 months? Is the threat getting closer, or have things stagnated? How much closer are we to practical and reliable solutions to mitigate the quantum threat?