After a couple of articles on fraud related topics, I decided that it is high time that I publish another article on a security topic, which is dear to my heart.
Quantum computing is on the brink of becoming a reality. IBM conducts research and innovation with its system Quantum Eagle. The German government decided to support research efforts for quantum computing locally with a vast amount of money. So, one should expect that within a few years, we will see supercomputers offered by major vendors.
Everybody wants better answers faster. Accordingly this technology innovation will be a great achievement.
However, as a side effect (it’s rather a major effect) performing quantum computers will be able to decrypt many of today’s public key algorithms, which will render communication and data exchange insecure for citizens and companies alike globally. Basically, all that you ever sent via the internet via HTTPS and everything that still is encrypted with public key algorithms will be available in plain text. ☹
What’s to be done about it? So, the good news is, that modern encryption algorithms exist, e.g. elliptic curve encryption algorithms etc, that are unbreakable by the power of supercomputers.
But to be ready in time, they have to be implemented now. Otherwise, quantum computing will soon break current encryption algorithms and render all data insecure.
Update on April 15 2022: The outgoing Chief Data Officer of the US Department of Defense warns against this threat as mentioned in linked Bloomberg article.