Quantum Computers Could Pose A Serious Cyber Security Threat


The dangers of quantum computers are a result of the fact that they are extremely powerful. Cyber-security technology that can stop modern day cyber attacks would be completely ineffective against a quantum computer. Security such as antivirus programs, managed detection and response services, firewalls, and other forms of security software will need to be developed further to provide full protection. Here are some of the reasons why quantum computers could be dangerous.


The Ability To Break Through Modern Day Encryption With Ease

Encryption is used to secure nearly all forms of sensitive data. If the encryption is broken, hackers could gain access to the sensitive information. There is no known method of encryption that would keep data stored on classical computers safe from a cyber attack that used a quantum computer. Here are some things that could happen if a quantum computer were used for a cyber-attack:

  • The stock exchange could be severely disrupted or collapse. A quantum computer could solve the algorithms that are used to determine how stocks change in value over time.

  • A foreign government using a quantum computer could gain access to another nation's state secrets. This could give them political leverage, and it could result in an escalation of conflicts throughout the world.

  • Hackers could gain access to the financial information of millions of people.

It's expected that there will be a significant period of time where classical computers and quantum computers exist side by side. Effective cryptography that keeps classical computers safe from quantum computers won't be developed until several years after quantum computers become widely used.


A Hack From A Quantum Computer Would Be Exceptionally Difficult To Stop

It is impossible for either a classical computer or quantum computer to hack a quantum computer. This would make it very difficult for the authorities to intervene in or track down a cyber-attack originating from a quantum computer.


What Is The Capacity Of A Quantum Computer?

A quantum computer uses qubits instead of conventional bits. A qubit is a quark that's used as a bit. Quarks are the smallest components of atoms. Therefore, a vast number of qubits could fit on a drive that is the size of a conventional hard drive.

It also doesn't take very many qubits for a device to be exceptionally powerful. Binary code uses 1s and 0s, and qubits are capable of being in both the 1 and 0 position at the same time. The silicon bits of conventional computers are only capable of being in either the 1 or 0 position at any given time.

The amount of data that a quantum computer can hold doubles each time the amount of bits it has increases by one. A 500 qubit device could store as much information as a classical computer with as many bits as there are atoms that exist in the universe.


The Dangers Of Quantum Computers Might Not Be As Far Off As You'd Think

There currently are quantum computers that have a capacity of 128 qubits, and they are already being used by some major corporations. The device is many millions of times more powerful than any classical computer that is currently on the market. This device is capable of performing certain functions much more effectively than classical computers:

  • Designing algorithms for machine learning
  • Recognizing real world objects
  • Finding answers to optimization problems

The company that produced this quantum computer is currently working on creating one that is even more powerful. The current goal is to create a quantum computer that has 1,000 qubits. It might not be long before this device is released. Other companies are also working on making quantum computers more advanced. It's possible that the dangers of quantum computers could only be a few years away.




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