QuSecure Advisor, Arthur Herman in Forbes on Quantum Cybersecurity
A new report by the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton on China’s steady push for quantum supremacy is making waves on Capitol Hill and in board rooms across the country.
This isn’t surprising. The report’s conclusions echo what we’ve repeatedly been warning and writing about in this column, and why I founded the Hudson Institute’s Quantum Alliance Initiative (QAI) nearly three years ago. With Booz Allen’s name attached to the warning label, the imperative to take seriously a future quantum threat from China now has additional cachet and reach.
Nonetheless, the report doesn’t just underscore the QAI thesis, that ”the anticipated cracking of encryption by quantum computers must be treated as current threat” and that “most of quantum computing’s potential lies more than a decade in the future—but risk management must start now.” It also produces some new insights that make for scary and sobering reading.
At the same time, there’s some good news for the quantum skeptic or the What Me Worry About Quantum? crowd. Despite the huge amount of money and resources China has poured into the quantum effort (an $11 billion research facility in Anhui province, plus Ali Baba’s $15 billion commitment); and the clear focus on quantum supremacy as a national priority, China is no further along than anyone else in creating the large-scale quantum computer that will be capable of cracking open existing public encryption systems. BAH’s estimates of when to expect that breakthrough hover around 2030 and 2033—no great surprise—although at least one expert touts it coming as early as the late 2020’s. Others see nothing on the horizon until 2040.”
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