Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 10:02 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems "But a powerful new type of computer that is about to be commercially deployed by a major American military contractor is taking computing into the strange, subatomic realm of quantum mechanics. In that infinitesimal neighborhood, common sense logic no longer seems to apply. A one can be a one, or it can be a one and a zero and everything in between - all at the same time. [...] Now, Lockheed Martin - which bought an early version of such a computer from the Canadian company D-Wave Systems two years ago - is confident enough in the technology to upgrade it to commercial scale, becoming the first company to use quantum computing as part of its business." I always get a bit skeptical whenever I hear the words 'quantum computing', but according to NewScientist, this is pretty legit.
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RE: Yes, but
by Lennie on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 12:24 UTC in reply to "Yes, but"
Lennie
Member since:
2007-09-22

Even more important can it be used to make certain encryption algorithms useless.

That is the thing I always care about.

And it is always the government agencies or government contractors that gets these kinds of systems first.

From an other article linked in the comments:

"There was a further limitation. Theoretically, the quantum computer should operate at a temperature of 0 kelvin, but such extreme cooling is impossible in practice, so D-Wave repeatedly ran the system at slightly above zero in the hope of reaching the lowest-energy state. Due to these higher temperatures the calculation got the right answer only 13 times after 10,000 attempts."

http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2012/08/quantum...

So eventually you might end up with something like a couple of thousand guesses to decrypt certain data.

If that is true, that could be bad.

Edited 2013-03-22 12:37 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Yes, but
by xiaokj on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 16:21 in reply to "RE: Yes, but"
xiaokj Member since:
2005-06-30

Said improvements imperil current cryptography systems. However, it is not the end-all of cryptography -- the newest replacement in SSH and GPG security, for examples, include elliptic curves and another algorithm. These newer algorithms are not known to be attacked by quantum computation.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Yes, but
by Lennie on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 17:03 in reply to "RE[2]: Yes, but"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I know some are considered "quantum computing safe", but many commonly deployed implementations don't support that crypto yet. And even if the implementations support it, it doesn't mean they'll choose to use it when they talk to each other.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Yes, but
by Alfman on Sat 23rd Mar 2013 20:28 in reply to "RE[2]: Yes, but"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

xiaokj,

"However, it is not the end-all of cryptography -- the newest replacement in SSH and GPG security, for examples, include elliptic curves and another algorithm. These newer algorithms are not known to be attacked by quantum computation."

Do you have a source for this? This very much interests me and I'd like to read more about it. It's a bit unintuitive as to why a quantum algorithm wouldn't work.


Wikipedia says this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elliptic_curve_cryptography#Quantum_co...
"Quantum computing attacks
Elliptic curve cryptography is vulnerable to a modified Shor's algorithm for solving the discrete logarithm problem on elliptic curves."

But it doesn't provide an online source.

Reply Parent Score: 2