Experts warn of ‘quantum apocalypse’

(ORDO NEWS) — Experts warn that quantum computers could eventually outperform conventional encryption methods, a potentially dangerous fate for humanity that they are figuratively calling a “quantum apocalypse,” reports the BBC.

Today, cracking the most complex ciphers takes almost forever, but with the advent of quantum computers, they warn, this process can be reduced to a few seconds.

And that kind of digital processing power can be disastrous if it falls into the wrong hands.“Everything we do today over the Internet,” Harry Owen, chief strategist at PostQuantum, told the BBC, “from buying things online, banking, communicating on social networks, is all encrypted.”

But quantum computers could allow bad players to “cleanse bank accounts, completely shut down government defense systems,” Owen warned.Ilyas Khan, chief executive of Quantinuum in Cambridge and Colorado, agreed, calling encryption-breaking quantum computers “a threat to our way of life” in an interview with the TV company.

Governments are already beginning to act to prevent the possibility of gaining the upper hand over their opponents. For example, the US Department of Commerce recently blacklisted a number of Chinese firms, some of which were added for their potential “ability to break encryption or develop unbreakable encryption.”

Researchers at tech giants like Google and Microsoft are hoping to get ahead of the curve by providing quantum protection for sensitive data.The US National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) also hopes to come up with a unified strategy to protect critical data from the impending quantum apocalypse.

The quantum apocalypse is still many years away, if it happens at all. In the meantime, researchers are racing ahead, trying to predict a future in which quantum computers can easily break current encryption standards.However, these predictions only make sense until we have a complete picture of what quantum computers will be capable of in general.

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