Are Quantum Computers Dangerous?

Anyone heard of Quantum computers? Quantum computers are powerful machines that can complete a task in hours that would take years for present generation computers to do. It is attainable because of the ‘qubit’(quantum bit) that transmits information. Qubit are programmed with detectable quantum states that store information in the form of 0’s and 1’s. Amazingly, qubits can be both 0 and 1 as compared to a binary bit in traditional computing, thus letting it store vast amount of data. The only problem with qubit is that they have a limited lifespan and require extreme conditions to maintain the complexity they rely on. Researches are being promoted to solve the problem. As soon as it is solved, it will take no time for them to take over the present generation computers.

The Upcoming Threat

The technology looks promising and will equip many researches that have so far been left unanswered due to lack of able equipments. Quantum computing is expected to impact many important fields such as, medicine and astronomy. But sadly, it will also crush internet security- courtesy quantum computer’s exceptional ability to quickly solve complex mathematical problems which is the foundation of modern-day encryption methods.

According to Global Risk Institute, there is a 1 in 7 chance that our fundamental cryptographic tools will be jeopardized by 2026. In 2031, the risk will rise to 50%.

Breaking public-key cryptographic tools is not usual hacking. Public-key cryptography is the basic block of internet security and safeguards online transactions, emails, medical records, and every important digital entity. It will take years to replace the system.

Quantum Will Save The World

The threat has not yet arrived and it is great that scientists have already started to think of methods to survive the bad effects of quantum computing. They think that quantum computing itself could be the answer to its problem.

The technique is called Quantum Cryptography. It utilizes photon-oriented qubits to safely send data to the receiver. If an attack is made, receiver will be informed immediately. Quantum cryptography includes quantum key distribution in which quantum communication is used to transmit messages securely. Unfortunately, due to lower bandwidth, the technique is not practical at present. Additionally, there are other techniques such as lattice-oriented cryptography and code-oriented cryptography that are being developed alongside.

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Therefore, while quantum computing is being developed, cyber infrastructure could be advanced as well to handle forthcoming encryption methods.

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