top of page
  • Writer's pictureAnchor Point

#QuantumComputing: Implications, Advancements, and #RSA #Cybersecurity Challenges


The ultimate benefit of quantum computing is to solve complex problems that current classical computers cannot solve, thus achieving the goal of "quantum supremacy." This makes it another highly anticipated development following the current AI boom. While everyone sees the inevitable trend of the quantum market approaching, no one is certain when and how it will become the next big thing.


One thing that is certain is the threat to network security, as powerful quantum computers can easily break current mainstream data encryption techniques. Intelligence agencies in many countries are actively seeking to gain such an advantage, which may pose a greater threat to cybersecurity in the near future.


Quantum computing will drive the development of AI. Although quantum computing has been hyped for decades, its killer applications in the age of generative AI are still unclear. However, researchers hope that quantum computing can be a powerful aid in advancing AI or machine learning. In April of this year, Moderna announced a collaboration with IBM to use quantum computers and generative AI technology to advance the development and administration of mRNA vaccines.


In fact, quantum computers may not necessarily outperform classical computers in solving many problems. Therefore, the current industry tends to see quantum computers and traditional electronic-based supercomputers advancing side by side. Quantum computers will be inclined to tackle the most urgent issues, such as climate change modeling.


The next milestone in the quantum computing market is called "quantum advantage" or "quantum supremacy." According to examples, quantum computers can solve complex mathematical problems that classical computers cannot solve. Quantum computers have achieved the so-called quantum supremacy in several fields by specially designing problems to showcase their capabilities, but they have not yet achieved it in a way that generates commercial interest.


Richard Moulds, General Manager of AWS Bracket Quantum Cloud Service, states that the next milestone in the quantum industry is quantum advantage. This means that quantum computers can solve commercially relevant problems faster, cheaper, and with lower power consumption than classical computers. Although no one is certain when quantum computers will gain a competitive advantage in business, it is possible that it will happen within the next three to four years, but no longer than 10 years, before the computer becomes powerful enough to crack the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).


Running quantum software on supercomputers is becoming a trend. Research firm Gartner predicts that by 2025, the top 50% of car manufacturers, banks, and pharmaceutical companies will actively participate in quantum-inspired projects. Sam Stanwyck, Senior Product Manager for Quantum Computing Software at Nvidia, says that many of the research they support are trying to figure out where quantum computers will be most beneficial. Although the company sees the most active use of quantum computing in applications involving simulations or biology, no one can clearly point out the first killer application of quantum computers.


Nvidia announced at the GTC Developer Conference in March that the company is working with researchers to develop programming software for simulating quantum computing. Their strategy is to run prototype software designed for quantum computers on today's supercomputers. Nvidia is collaborating with Israeli startup Quantum Machines to run algorithms for quantum physics on a supercomputer built with AI chips. In fact, some quantum computing startups have adopted a similar approach of testing quantum software on supercomputers.


The emerging national-level cybersecurity attacks utilizing quantum computing involve the classic technique of "store now, decrypt later." The most concerning negative application of quantum computers at present is that some countries are heavily investing in building quantum computers and designing them specifically as tools to crack RSA public-key cryptography using Shor's algorithm. Although current quantum computers are not yet powerful enough to break RSA encryption, a study by Gartner predicts that by 2029, traditional asymmetric encryption techniques will become insecure as quantum computing continues to advance.


One of the certain implications of quantum computing is its potential to solve complex problems that are currently beyond the capabilities of classical computers, thereby achieving the goal of "quantum supremacy." This makes it an eagerly anticipated development following the current AI boom. While everyone recognizes the inevitable trend of the quantum market, no one is sure when and how it will become the next big thing.


Another area that is certain to be affected is network security. Quantum computers have the potential to easily break the encryption techniques currently used by mainstream data protection systems. Intelligence agencies of many countries are actively seeking to gain this advantage, which could pose a significant threat to cybersecurity in the near future.


Quantum computing's impact on AI development


Quantum computing has been hyped for decades, but its killer applications in the era of AI, particularly in generative AI, remain unclear. However, researchers hope that quantum computing can become a powerful tool to advance AI and machine learning. In April of this year, Moderna announced its collaboration with IBM to leverage their quantum computers and generative AI technology in the development and administration of mRNA vaccines.


In reality, quantum computers may not necessarily outperform classical computers in many problem-solving scenarios. Therefore, the industry is leaning towards a coexistence model where quantum computers and traditional electronic-based supercomputers progress side by side. Quantum computers are more likely to focus on urgent issues such as climate change modeling.


The next milestone in the quantum computing market: Quantum advantage/supremacy


Quantum computers have demonstrated their ability to solve complex mathematical problems that are infeasible for classical computers, but these problems have been specifically designed to showcase the capabilities of quantum computers. In several areas, quantum computers have achieved so-called quantum supremacy using similar approaches. However, they have not yet achieved this in a way that sparks commercial interest.


According to Richard Moulds, the General Manager of AWS Bracket Quantum Cloud Service, the next milestone in the quantum industry is referred to as quantum advantage. It means that quantum computers can solve commercially relevant problems faster, cheaper, and with lower power consumption compared to classical computers. While it remains uncertain when quantum computers will achieve a position of commercial advantage, it is possible that within the next three to four years (but no longer than 10 years), they will reach a point where they can break public key infrastructure (PKI) encryption.


Trend of running quantum software on supercomputers


Gartner predicts that by 2025, more than 50% of car manufacturers, banks, and pharmaceutical companies will actively engage in quantum-inspired projects. Sam Stanwyck, the Senior Product Manager for Quantum Computing Software at Nvidia, states that many of the research initiatives supported by the company are focused on understanding the areas where quantum computing can provide the most benefits. Although the company sees the most active use of quantum computing in applications involving simulation or biology, the first killer application of quantum computers remains unclear.


In March, Nvidia announced its collaboration with the Israeli startup Quantum Machines to run algorithms for quantum physics on AI chip-constructed supercomputers. In fact, several quantum computing startups are adopting a similar approach of testing quantum software on supercomputers.


New national-level cybersecurity threats utilizing quantum computing: "Store Now, Decrypt Later"


The most concerning negative application of quantum computers currently revolves around certain countries heavily investing in building quantum computers specifically designed to crack RSA public-key cryptography using Shor's algorithm. While quantum computers are not yet powerful enough to break RSA encryption, a study by Gartner indicates that by 2029, traditional asymmetric encryption techniques will become insecure as quantum computing continues to advance.


It is understood that illicit actors, especially certain countries' intelligence agencies, are already acquiring and storing encrypted sensitive data with the intention of decrypting it once quantum computers become powerful enough. This threat is referred to as "Store Now, Decrypt Later" (SNDL). The idea behind SNDL is to collect and store encrypted data today, anticipating that quantum computers will eventually be able to crack the encryption in the future. This poses a significant threat to the security of sensitive information, such as classified government documents, financial data, and personal records.


To counteract this emerging threat, researchers and cybersecurity experts are actively working on developing post-quantum encryption algorithms that can resist attacks from quantum computers. These algorithms aim to provide secure encryption even in the presence of quantum computing capabilities. Standardization bodies and organizations are collaborating to establish new encryption standards that can withstand quantum attacks.


The race for quantum supremacy and advancements in quantum technology are not limited to a few countries or organizations. Major global players, including the United States, China, and Europe, are investing heavily in quantum research and development. These investments include building quantum computers, fostering collaborations between academia and industry, and exploring potential applications of quantum technology across various sectors.


Furthermore, governments are recognizing the need to formulate policies and regulations to address the impact of quantum computing. This includes considerations for national security, intellectual property, and privacy. International cooperation is also crucial to ensure a coordinated approach to quantum technology development and its responsible use.


In conclusion, quantum computing is poised to have a significant impact on various aspects of technology, including AI, cryptography, and cybersecurity. While the exact timeline and commercial applications of quantum computers remain uncertain, the race for quantum supremacy continues to drive advancements in the field. As the technology progresses, it is vital to address the potential cybersecurity risks associated with quantum computing and develop robust encryption algorithms to safeguard sensitive information in the post-quantum era.

Comments


bottom of page