On the Development of Quantum Computers and Cryptography
In 2010, the United States government, after accessing encrypted files by means of physical intervention, exposed ten Russian sleeper agents; in 2013, the United States government, without any means of physical intervention, surreptitiously collected and promptly decrypted many previously encrypted (Wood). Within this decade, concerns regarding the dubious security of contemporary cryptography will begin to emerge as the secrets of quantum computing quickly unravel. Companies that rely on Moore’s law, which asserts that computing power doubles every eighteen months, to justify using the theoretically weak cryptography scheme known as RSA will succumb to the risks posed by unforeseen developments in this branch of computer science. Such an occurrence resides not too far in the future, and when the stasis between the two opposing forces of cryptological and quantum development breaks, it will upend all encryption techniques presently practiced. In order to ward off the impending risk of nil action, businesses must invest in more dependable technologies.
All of the the modern world’s electronic security relies on a system developed before the dawn of microprocessors known as “public-key cryptography,” which encrypts information with a lock that only the handler can unlock using a so called ‘public key’. When first conceived in the 1940s, everyone lauded the idea of using inextricably convoluted code to obfuscate information. As a result, society built most of modern day cryptography upon this foundation. Looking to improve upon this architecture in the 1970s, Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Leonard Adleman developed a new cryptographic scheme called “RSA” that works in a similar manner to public-key cryptography. By multiplying two keys - prime numbers on the order of one hundred digits - together RSA cryptography creates a double-keyed lock which proves itself as an insurmountable challenge to anyone who may attempt to hack their way into a protected network. Because the the number of steps taken increases exponentially as the size of the prime number increases for a classical computer, more often than not, the factoring processes will take hundreds of years. In contrast to this, generating a correct set of two keys for a lock would have taken billions of years just four decades ago. Lacking foresight, the world willingly adopted this idea; today, RSA cryptography has a ubiquitous role in society.
In spite of the prosperous outlooks of RSA cryptography, its founders did not expect the development of quantum computing. While similar to classical computing, quantum computing has an edge over its predecessor in that it does not create just one output for every one input. Instead, quantum computing exploits a feature of quantum mechanics called “quantum parallelism”. This effect arises as a result of superposed qubits, the quantum analog to a state of one or a zero of a classical computer,...