A highlight from Quantum computers could render current encryptions useless (The Daily Charge, 5/24/2021)

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Quantum computing is the darling of the tech industry. Got a big shoutout last week at google. I o conference. These superpower will eventually be smart enough to crack our toughest encryption. I'm roger chang. This is your daily charge here. Talk prospects of a post. Quantum encryption world is our own big brains. Stephen shanklin welcome schenk. Thank you quality is. It's a huge thing. It's a big buzzword attack world. And i think most people gather that generally means it's more powerful and faster but could you just breakdown how quantum computing works and how it runs differently from say the supercomputers that are out there today shirt so quantum computing relies on the really weird physical behavior of very very small things like atoms and there are a bunch of different ways that different companies are trying to build quantum computers fundamentally they all involve something called a cubit so regular conventional computer stores data and a bit which is either a one or zero cubit. Through one of these weird physical properties can be both a one and zero at the same time you pile a whole bunch of these cubits together you interconnect them and you can solve different class of computing problems so most people don't think that quantum computers are going to replace classical computers but they are going to be able to tackle a number of problems that are just simply out of reach of conventional computers. So even with monumentally powerful supercomputer when these ones that cost hundreds of millions of dollars. There are some problems that they just can't tackle over would take them billions of years perhaps to crack conventional strong hard encryption today. Encryption is the technology that protects all your messages on the internet. When you're buying something online or downloading a bank statement from your bank or having a private chat with your spouse all these things are protected with encryption. It turns out that one of the things that quantum computers are going to be good at later is breaking that. Encryption right you. That's important point because you save later because computers as they are right. Now aren't quite mature enough. How long do you think. Or how long do experts think that qualifications will actually be able to start cracking. So these countries are easy crack lizard corruptions. It is not clear so the progress today in quantum computing one of the founding experts in the field. I talked to accept lloyd. He's a professor at mit when he got started. He said it was Was like we're all living in mud. Huts and now. Quantum computing has progressed to the industrial revolution. So we're at a period of a lot of growth a lot of real progress. But it's still pretty early so it's definitely going to be years. Most folks talked to thought probably more than a decade before the est encryption would be easy to crack now there are a couple of caveats one. Is that all of a sudden. The progress is moving faster. There are a lot of big companies and a lot of well-funded startups who are pursuing this active. -ly and it could be. There might be some breakthroughs. That happen sooner than that. So one executive. I talked to said well. It could be twenty years but it could be five years. Another big factor is there could be a giant government. Research lab really wants to crack some other governments communications and they might be willing to spend a god awful amount of money to get one of these machines working sooner right to that point and the fact that it is very variable. How urgent is this problem. Because you're not even on the short talking about five years and that's not really not exactly right around the corner. So what is the urgency factor. While here's the problem okay. So we don't have quantum computers that crack encryption today but we do have computing infrastructure that can harvest data today and then it could be cracked later when the quantum computers do matter so the problem is that if you have sensitive data today financial information military secrets government government communications. Whatever kind of sensitive information you might have today that could in principle bihar busted stornoway and then cracked tomorrow. So that's that's the risk here and that's why people are taking this issue very seriously. So what exactly is being done about this. Like how are

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