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Science & Technology

What is the quantum apocalypse and should we be worried ?

By T.K. Randall
January 14, 2023 · Comment icon 3 comments

IBM Quantum System One. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 IBM Research
Some scientists believe that existing forms of data security and encryption will soon become obsolete.
The so-called 'quantum apocalypse' is not a typical end-of-the-world scenario but a potential point in time at which quantum computers become so powerful that existing methods of encryption for everything from your computer password to your bank account will become ineffectual.

It won't matter how strong your password is or how well it is encrypted - a sufficiently powerful quantum computer would be able to crack it within seconds.

"The evolution of quantum computers creates a significant threat to data security," Tim Callan, chief experience officer at cybersecurity company Sectigo, told Mail Online.

"Their immense processing power is capable of breaking encryption at great speed, leaving important data vulnerable, everything from bank account details to medical records to state secrets."

But could such a scenario actually happen and how much of an 'apocalypse' would it be ?
What those warning of this eventuality fail to take into account is the likelihood that encryption technologies will likely also evolve to become more sophisticated as well.

Several years down the line, it's likely that banks, for example, will be using far more advanced methods of security - possibly even taking advantage of quantum computing themselves.

That said, outdated systems would certainly be vulnerable.

There's also the question of who would have access to super-advanced quantum computers - the first such machines wouldn't be available to the general public, for example.

All things considered, while quantum computers could very well reach the point at which they would render today's encryption obsolete, there's no guarantee that it would lead to an 'apocalypse'.

Ultimately, though, only time will tell.

Source: Mail Online | Comments (3)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by jpeniel333 22 days ago
People give these Quantum Computers entirely too much credit.  They use extremely complex quantum algarythms to come up with "best guesses" that are not always accurate.  But even more important is the fact that that Quantum Computers do not travel to your home and take you hostage so as to use the same device that you use in order to prevent websites from sending you confirmation codes because you logged in using a different device from a new IP.  Not only this, the passwords and confirmation codes would have a limit to how many times an attempt could be entered due to Brute Force Protection.... [More]
Comment icon #2 Posted by Hyperionxvii 21 days ago
We don't need a quantum apocalypse. Our inept government is going to get us in a regular old nuclear war.
Comment icon #3 Posted by lightly 21 days ago
They used to talk about a “limited nuclear exchange”.      Crazy is Crazy.  …if we actually bring ourselves to that point.. we deserve it!   

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