Many politicians and government officials used the anniversary of the September 11th tragedies to remind Americans that we still face threat from terrorism, particularly cyber terrorism. While many can agree on the severity of the threat, it has not been very clear what can we do to protect ourselves.
One area of vulnerability that threatens our nation’s infrastructure is that encryption protections are based on RSA, an algorithm for public key cryptography that can possibly be rendered insecure by quantum computing.
NBC reported on a new development by scientists from the University of California at Santa Barbara and IBM who were able to run an algorithm on a custom-built quantum processor. The practical applications for cyber security would be in the ability to create encryption security measures that are not vulnerable to cracking by quantum computing.
If it can be proven that RSA encryption is vulnerable to quantum computing, quantum encryption is the likely way forward.