(EurekaAlert) Quantum computers that are exponentially faster than any of our current classical computers and are capable of code-breaking applications could be available in 12 to 15 years, posing major risks to the security of current communications systems, according to a new RAND Corporation report.
The security risks posed by this new category of computers can be managed if the U.S. government acts quickly, and a centrally coordinated, whole-of-nation approach is the best way to manage those challenges, according to RAND researchers.
“If adequate implementation of new security measures has not taken place by the time capable quantum computers are developed, it may become impossible to ensure secure authentication and communication privacy without major, disruptive changes,” said Michael Vermeer, lead author of the report and a physical scientist at nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND. “The United States has the means and very likely enough time to avert a quantum disaster and build a safer future, but only if it begins preparations now.”

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