IBM Warns of Instant Breaking of Encryption by Quantum Computers

Megalith

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The head of IBM Research thinks that security-minded individuals should start looking into alternate forms of encryption and move their data today, as quantum computing is on the horizon. Some believe that quantum computers, capable of instantly breaking today's strongest security, could debut in as little as five years.

Quantum computers can solve some types of problems near-instantaneously compared with billions of years of processing using conventional computers. Moler said people might feel safe because they have done everything they are supposed to do to secure their existing data -- but quantum computing will break it. "I do think that's scary," she said.
 

Vercinaigh

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I hope my enemies don't have billions of dollars for a quantum computer.
Guess it's a good thing they don't cost billions then huh? More like millions, chump change for today's most common hacking threats. But keep being blasé hopefully nothing you mind losing.
 

N4CR

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Been saying this for years. When you can access all information ever created, its pretty trivial to do this.
 

bugleyman

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I remember reading about the potential impact of quantum computers on encryption twenty years ago. Seems a little odd to be surprised about it now.

On the other hand, yet there are still millions upon millions of people who drive around using GPS, but think that Special Relativity is "only a theory" (whatever that means). Just goes to show how many people aren't able to connect the dots...
 

Lakados

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I think we will see a resurgence of physical storage for secure documentation.
 

sfsuphysics

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I mean do I care? Because as it stands I'm getting alerts every now and then that passwords were in plain text on an internal computer or some equally WTFish shit like that.
I remember reading about the potential impact of quantum computers on encryption twenty years ago. Seems a little odd to be surprised about it now.
Yeah, I seem to recall those "Popular Science" days a couple decades back, I'm guessing quantum computers are a lot more common place now?
 

Skull_Angel

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Who wants to start an autonomous mobile secure storage server service for business class data transfer with me? We can charge businesses out the ass for secure data transfer from their disconnected servers!

Edit: Seriously, net security doesn't really exist. May be when quantum-computing becomes mainstream, Star Trek-level socialism will make a breakthrough.
 

Sycraft

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I speak fluent corporate bullshit, let me translate this for you "IBM, who has become increasingly irrelevant by selling off many of their divisions, wants to get attention so they are hyping their fledgling quantum computer research using scaremongering that has no relevance to anything today."

Seriously this is nothing new, and a nonsense article. First off, the idea that quantum computers are "right on the horizon" is silly. At this point it is still a technology that nobody is sure will be useful. In theory it can be, but that is dependent on a lot of development beyond where it is now. Who knows how hard that'll be, or even how possible. I mean you look at something like nuclear fusion, which we know is real and possible and yet trying to make a fusion reactor that can produce more energy than it uses has eluded us for decades. Maybe breakthroughs in quantum computers will happen soon and we'll see them being used to solve problems quickly that traditional computers cannot, or maybe they'll forever be a research item, something that people keep tinkering with but can never make do anything usefully faster than a traditional computer.

Second, the idea that security professionals should "look at alternate forms of encryption" is stupid. Why? Well because right now, there aren't any. It isn't like there are some great, quantum computer-proof encryption schemes out there that security professionals are just too lazy/stupid to use, they haven't been developed yet. Much like the research in to quantum computers themselves, this isn't something you can just snap your fingers and do. Along those lines it is something that encryption researchers have been actively working on since quantum computers were first proposed. It is a problem that they are trying to solve, and have been trying to solve for years, but haven't.

This is just IBM putting out a scary puff piece to try and get people interested in them and their research.
 

amddragonpc

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I bet the government can't wait to start breaking encryption on all that encrypted data they've been siphoning off the Internet and storing in that Utah "data warehouse".
 

funkydmunky

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As always, any truly relevant tech is something we haven't heard of.
A.I. and Quantum are catch words for us low life's.
A.I. for basic data formula gatherings is fine, and Quantum is virtually (no pun intended) snake oil at this time. But they are both currently useless for deep impact uses.
Is this just the next excuse for why our personal private information is basically freely available?
 
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I bet the government can't wait to start breaking encryption on all that encrypted data they've been siphoning off the Internet and storing in that Utah "data warehouse".
Yeah, the gov will get as much as it can until the rest of the world catches up. But yeah, until then they'll have a field day. Just like with acquiring nukes, the first to get them is the first to use them. By the time everyone can get it, there will be safeguards put in place.
 

MrDeaf

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Yes, but what's its hash rate?

(assuming crypto remains relevant in 5yrs)
 

Dekoth-E-

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The head of IBM Research thinks that security-minded individuals should start looking into alternate forms of encryption and move their data today, as quantum computing is on the horizon. Some believe that quantum computers, capable of instantly breaking today's strongest security, could debut in as little as five years.

Quantum computers can solve some types of problems near-instantaneously compared with billions of years of processing using conventional computers. Moler said people might feel safe because they have done everything they are supposed to do to secure their existing data -- but quantum computing will break it. "I do think that's scary," she said.
I mean, what does he expect us to do exactly? Quantum computers if they function in practice how they do in theory completely invalidate ALL current forms of security. There is literally nothing outside completely disconnected from the web that can stop a quantum computer from swatting conventional security aside like a gnat. So yes I'm aware of what is coming, but telling me I need to look into alternate forms of encryption when there isn't anything that can withstand this doesn't help. This is on par with telling a soldier 2000 years ago that he might want to look at "alternate armor" to protect himself against time travelling aliens with Tanks.
 

LastQuestion

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I'm counting on this. I encrypted some personally important files years ago, then lost the password. Hoping to eventually be able to retrieve them. At this point, it'll be a bit of a time capsule moment.
 

Mize

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If you just double the wait time between pwd tries (or even go more aggressive with t^n increased delays) you eliminate this "instant cracking" idea. The trouble is going to be blockchain because anyone is free to pound away at decrypting them.
 

katanaD

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being able to find the decryption key radically fast is not the same as guessing passwords.
 

Shmee

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Encryption has always had a time limit to its usefulness.
 
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PaulP

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For the last 20 years practical quantum computing that can break all current encryption in real-time has been just 5 years off. I'm not going to panic yet.
 

kju1

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I'm counting on this. I encrypted some personally important files years ago, then lost the password. Hoping to eventually be able to retrieve them. At this point, it'll be a bit of a time capsule moment.
Naked pics of an ex? They are probably on the internet anyway...
 

Geef

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So it can finally run Crysis?
I just want to know if they are gonna build a quantum computer that can look at the code and remake old games with awesome graphics that work well with current hardware.
YARS REVENGE here I come!
 

velusip

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This is just IBM putting out a scary puff piece to try and get people interested in them and their research.
That was my first thought as well. The head of IBM Research saying something as stupid and fantastic as "quantum computing will break it." Does this guy just drink, snort cocaine, and drive a car with doors that "do this?"

Commercially available quantum computing may only be a few years out, but the amount of architecture design required to feed and interpret the needs of a a quantum platform are _still_ in the theory phases. We need a new type of memory/FPGA hybrid before we can even start thinking of programming for such a device.
 
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