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Experts Warn Of "Quantum Apocalypse"

Quantum Apocalypse

According to the BBC, experts are expressing concern that current encryption techniques may one day be rendered ineffective by quantum computers, which they have euphemistically dubbed the "quantum apocalypse."

They warn that with the development of quantum computers, it may only take a few seconds to decipher even the most difficult encryption in use today.

And if that type of computational power fell into the wrong hands, it might have terrible results.

The BBC was told by PostQuantum's Harri Owen, chief strategy officer, that "everything we do over the internet nowadays, from buying items online to banking transactions to social media interactions, is encrypted."

However, according to Owen, quantum computing might enable malicious actors to "clean bank accounts, to completely shut down government defensive systems."

In an interview with the broadcaster, Ilyas Khan, the chief executive of Quantinuum, a firm with offices in Colorado and Cambridge, concurred and referred to encryption-breaking quantum computers as "a menace to our way of life."


Governments have already started taking steps to prevent their enemies from obtaining the upper hand. For example, the US Commerce Department has put many Chinese companies on a blacklist due to some of them having the potential "ability to crack encryption or produce unbreakable encryption."

In order to stay ahead of the curve, researchers at digital behemoths like Google and Microsoft are quantum-proofing critical classified data.

The US National Institute for Science and Technology (NIST) is likewise working to develop a comprehensive plan to safeguard crucial data from the looming quantum end of days.

If the quantum apocalypse ever occurs, it will most likely be several years away. But in the meanwhile, scientists are working feverishly to forecast a day when quantum computers would be able to decrypt today's encryption standards with ease.

But until we fully understand what quantum computers will be able to do, such forecasts are only partially meaningful.

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