(DefenseOne) This is the summary of an important, provocative conversation between Defense One staff and cybersecurity experts about cyberwarfare. Excerpts here are related to quantum computing and made by interviewee Dawn Thomas, the Associate Director and Research Analyst on the Safety and Security team of CNA. Her team at CNA released a report entitled “Cybersecurity Futures 2025″ this spring. Her comments on four scenarios for quantum computing are Quantum Leap, Wiggle Room, Barlow’s Revenge, and Trust Us.” A few of her direct statements follow:
“What do you do with quantum once you have it: give it to everybody, give it to your military, mandate it be government-controlled. If you put quantum capabilities out into the world means if everyone has it then kind of no one has it.”
Thomas warns that is the kind of decision-making process that every country is going to have to go through and it’s a game-changer in the geopolitical world. It’s also a game-changer in the criminal world. The idea that this kind of technology can fall into the hands of nonstate actors, but also just “cybercriminals that are just looking to watch the world as it burns or just make a lot of money when it does”. These have extremely both frightening and amazing consequences.
The moderator pointed out that non-state players such as drug cartels could use quantum technology and influence border security and create identify fluidity.
The discussion is extensive and worth a read. This statement from from Thomas about decision-making about the future of quantum tech being done by middle of the road thinkers is to remember, “That’s what I would like to see is kind of little old ladies and the very aggressive drivers taken out of the loop.”

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