(SputnikNews) Peter Shor, the man hailed as the “pioneer of quantum-computing” has issued a warning regarding internet security in an age when quantum computations become feasible, claiming that data concealed now might be endangered. Shor has warned, ““I think the only obstruction to replacing RSA with a secure post-quantum cryptosystem will be willpower and programming time . . If we wait around too long, it will be too late”.
Shor published a paper in 1995 that, in theory, showed how quantum computers could eventually process information as qubits and become exponentially faster than ordinary computers. As quantum states are vulnerable to noise, resulting in loss of information, Shor came up with an error-correction technique. The scientist honed his efforts on a calculation called “factoring”.
Nature recently interviewed Peter Shor, who has now been at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge for 25 years, in the wake of news that a team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in China claims to have built and tested a photonic quantum computer that has achieved quantum supremacy. Previously, only one computer reportedly achieved this – Sycamore, Google’s quantum processor, comprising 54 qubits.
Shor hailed the achievements as a milestone, showing quantum computers can do things better than classical computers. However, the scientist also warned that once quantum computers can factor large prime numbers, that will enable them to break ‘RSA’ — the internet encryption system widely used for secure data transmission.
querying whether there exists the chance people will be caught unprepared to deal with a potential killer app, the scientist conceded that the world would need “an enormous amount of effort” to switch to post-quantum, warning:
“If we wait around too long, it will be too late”.