In the future quantum computing will make it extremely difficult for secured and encrypted communications to be hacked, or cyber commands of rogue nations to infiltrate the government or corporate systems to install a virus, worm, or spyware. Cloud computing data centers will have the top of the line encryption using quantum techniques to protect all their data as well. Of course, as one side, in this case the “good-guys” let’s call them gets this technology, soon the so-called “bad-guys” will as well.
The lines are blurred when it comes to cyber armies sponsored by militaries, intelligence industry, or let’s say the NSA depending on how you see or perceive who is on whose team at the time of the interruption, spying, or hacking. Okay so, what is the future of quantum computing? How far have we come, and what challenges are still ahead with this technology for encryption?
There was a really cool article written by Edwin Cartlidge (a science writer from Rome) which appeared in the Institute of Physics Website (IOP) on June 17, 2011 which is totally worthy for anyone who studies cyber warfare theory, or computer security systems. The article was titled; Hackers Steal Quantum Code. And the article itself takes you through a really probable scenario of a hacker or cyber warfare event as they try to break into the quantumly coded message being sent between two parties. The article stated;
“While in principle unbreakable, quantum cryptography has weaknesses. It has been graphically illustrated by physicists, that they can copy a secret quantum key without revealing their presence to either sender or receiver. An eavesdropper, “Eve”, measuring the polarization of the photons sent would reveal themselves because given a long enough string of photons, the probability of her correctly guessing the sequence of polarizers (secret key) becomes practically zero.”
Or does it? Well, apparently not, because some physicists have now figured out how, and thus the eavesdropper can remain undetected, which is a scary thought, and what that means is that once in, and once they’ve observed the coding sequence they will be able to read the data without anyone knowing they’ve broken in. Once scientists suggests turning signal off-and-on randomly, therefore the observer only gets a short burst of information, and then they are scrambled from there on out, and found out in the process! Good guys 1, hackers 0.
Well, that all sounds good, but the future is often elusive and we are really only starting this game, it’s barely the first inning. So, please consider all this and think on it.