In this aerial photograph taken on October 10, 2005, there is GCHQ with the Government Communications Headquarters in the house and parking lot.
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London — A lesser-known British company called Arqit is quietly preparing companies and governments for quantum computers, the next major threat to cyber defense.
It’s still an incredibly young field of study, but some parts of the tech industry include: Google, Microsoft And IBM — I believe quantum computing will become a reality in the next decade, and that could be alarming news for an organization’s cybersecurity.
David Williams, co-founder and chairman of Arqit, states that quantum computers are millions of times faster than traditional computers and can break into one of the most widely used cryptographic techniques.
“The legacy encryption we use to keep secrets safe is called PKI,” Williams said in an interview with CNBC. “It was invented in the 1970s.”
“PKI was originally designed to protect the communication between two computers,” Williams added. “It wasn’t designed for the hyper-connected world, where billions of devices around the world communicate in complex interactions.”
Arqit plans to go public through Merged with a blank check company, BT, Sumitomo Corporation, UK Government, European Space Agency, etc. Part of that team previously worked for the British intelligence agency GCHQ. Only recently has the company exited its temporary secrecy of “stealth mode” and its listing on the stock market has never been more timely.
Over the past month, there have been a series of catastrophic ransomware attacks on organizations such as: Colonial pipeline, JBS, the largest fuel pipeline in the United States, World’s largest meat trader..
Quantum computing aims to apply the principles of quantum physics (a system of science that seeks to describe the world at the level of atoms and elementary particles) to computers.
Today’s computers use 1s and 0s to store information, but quantum computers rely on qubits (qubits). Qubits can be composed of combinations of 1s and 0s at the same time, and are known in this field as superpositions. These qubits can also be linked to each other through a phenomenon called entanglement.
Simply put, it means that quantum computers are much more powerful than today’s machines and can solve complex calculations much faster.
Kaspar Rasmussen, an associate professor of computer science at the University of Oxford, told CNBC that quantum computers are designed to “perform certain very specific operations much faster than classic computers.” It was.
Not all tasks can be solved. “This isn’t the case:’It’s a quantum computer, so it just runs the applications you put in it much faster.'” That’s not the idea, “Rasmussen said.
According to experts, this can be a problem for the latest cryptographic standards.
“When you and I use PKI cryptography, we do half of the difficult math problems: prime factorization,” Williams told CNBC. “If you tell me a number, I will calculate a prime number and derive a new number. A classic computer can’t break it, but a quantum computer breaks it.”
Williams believes his company has found a solution. Instead of relying on public key cryptography, Arqit sends symmetric cryptographic keys (long random numbers) over the satellite. This is called “quantum key distribution”. Virgin Orbit, which invested in Arqit as part of its SPAC acquisition, plans to launch an artificial satellite from Cornwall, England, by 2023.
Some experts say it will take some time for quantum computers to finally arrive in ways that can threaten existing cyber defenses. Rasmussen does not expect them to exist in a meaningful way for at least another decade. But he is not complacent.
“If we accept the fact that quantum computers will exist ten years from now, anyone with the foresight to record important conversations could be able to decipher them when quantum computers emerge,” Rasmussen said. He said.
“Public key cryptography is literally everywhere in the digitized world, from bank cards to how to connect to the Internet, car keys, and Internet of Things (IOT) devices,” said Cybersecurity CEO. Founder Ali Kaafarani said. Startup PQShield told CNBC.
The US Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology aims to update cryptographic standards to include what is known as post-quantum cryptography, an algorithm that is secure against attacks from quantum computers.
Kaafarani hopes that NIST will set a new standard by the end of 2021. But he warns:
“The current challenge is how companies need to prepare for the transition to new standards,” Kafarani said. “The lessons of the past prove that switching from one algorithm to another takes too long, years and decades.”
Williams thought companies needed to be ready now, and added that adopting public-key cryptography to form a “more complex” post-quantum algorithm was not the solution. He posted. He hinted at a report from NIST that addressed the challenges of quantum cryptography solutions.
Organization prepares for cyber attacks from quantum computers
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