One important “but”: The Quantum Vulnerability

The most important and interesting about encryption.
A series of articles understandable even to non-specialists.

There is another important nuance, which concerns encryption algorithms, asymmetric ones in particular. When we talk about the cryptographic robustness of algorithms, we mean cryptanalysis performed through a use of the classical computer.

But quantum computers already exist. The difference between a classical computer and a quantum computer is that the classical computer operates with bits in the state either “0” or “1”. And the computational power of the quantum computer is based on qubits, which can be simultaneously in the state “1” and “0” in different percentages of “1” and “0”. Such a variety of states gives the quantum computer an enormous advantage over a classical computer in solving mathematical problems.

Simply put, the quantum computer can solve in a second the mathematical problem that the classical computer would take hundreds of years to solve.
It turns out that asymmetric algorithms based precisely on mathematical problems, cannot resist the quantum computer. However, RSA has already been hacked even without the quantum computer. As soon as a sufficiently powerful quantum computer appears, hacking the existing asymmetric algorithms will no longer be an impossible task.

We have already told in detail in this article about the development of quantum computing and the onset of the so-called Quantum Apocalypse for cryptocurrencies. It is worth adding, that the Quantum Apocalypse threatens not only cryptocurrencies and other IT-developments that are based on the blockchain. All types of information (private, corporate, public), which uses asymmetric encryption algorithms are under threat.

Hacking channels encrypted with hybrid encryption will look something like this:

– Quantum computer will fit the keys to the asymmetric encryption algorithm, with which Alice and Bob send each other a session key of symmetric encryption;

– The intercepted session key encryption will decrypt the messages exchanged between Alice and Bob using the symmetric encryption algorithm.

Alice and Bob


The way out of the impasse can be the so-called post-quantum cryptography. The idea behind post-quantum encryption algorithms is that they defy quantum computing. We will talk about post-quantum cryptography in more detail in our next articles.

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