Experts say RSA’s demise from quantum attacks is highly exaggerated

Abstract futuristic high-tech electronic circuit board background

Three weeks ago, panic gripped some corners of the security world after researchers discovered a hack that, finally, cracked the widely used substance. RSA encryption Blueprint at hand using quantum computing.

Scientists and cryptographers have known for two decades that a method of analysis known as the Shore algorithm makes it theoretically possible for a quantum computer with enough resources to crack RSA. That’s because the secret primes that support RSA key security are easy to calculate using Shor’s algorithm. Calculating the same prime numbers using classical computing takes billions of years.

The only thing holding back this doomsday scenario is the huge amount of computing resources required for Shore’s algorithm to crack RSA keys of sufficient size. The current estimate is that cracking a 1,024-bit or 2048-bit RSA key would require a quantum computer with massive resources. Specifically, these resources are about 20 million qubits and about eight hours of them run in overlay. (A qubit is a basic unit of quantum computing, and is analogous to a binary bit in classical computing. But while a classical binary bit can represent only one binary value such as a 0 or 1, a qubit is represented by a superposition of multiple possible states.)

the paper, published three weeks ago by a team of researchers in China, they report finding an analysis method that can crack a 2048-bit RSA key using a quantum system containing only 372 qubits when run using thousands of operating steps. This discovery, if true, would mean that the fall of RSA cryptography in quantum computing could come much sooner than most people think.

The demise of RSA is greatly exaggerated

At the Enigma 2023 conference in Santa Clara, Calif., on Tuesday, computer scientist and security and privacy expert Simpson Garfinkel assured researchers that RSA’s demise has been greatly exaggerated. Right now, he said, quantum computing has few, if any, practical applications.

β€œIn the near term, quantum computers are good for one thing, which is publishing research papers in prestigious journals,” says Garfinkel, co-author with Chris Hufnagel of the 2021 book. Law and politics for the quantum agehe told the audience. “The second thing they’re reasonably good at, but we don’t know for how long, is they’re reasonably good at getting financing.”

Even when quantum computing becomes advanced enough to provide useful applications, applications are likely to be for simulating physics and chemistry, and making computer improvements that don’t work well with classical computing. Garfinkel said the dearth of useful applications in the foreseeable future could lead to a “quantum winter,” similar to multiple rounds of AI winters before AI finally takes off.

The problem with the paper published earlier this month was its dependence on the Schnorr algorithm (not to be confused with the Shor algorithm), which was developed in 1994. The Schnorr algorithm is a classical computation based on networks, which are mathematical structures with many applications. in constructive cryptography and cryptanalysis. The authors who created Schnorr’s algorithm said it could enhance the use of an empirical quantitative optimization method called QAOA.

Within a short time, a group of researchers pointed out Fatal flaws In Schnorr’s algorithm, which completely exposed its falsity. Specifically, critics have said that there is no evidence to support the authors’ claims that Schnurr’s algorithm achieves polynomial time, in contrast to the exponential time achieved using classical algorithms.

The paper from three weeks ago seems to be taking Shor’s algorithm at face value. Even when it’s supposedly optimized with QAOA – something for which there is currently no support – it’s questionable if it provides any performance boost.

Scott Aronson, a computer scientist at the University of Texas at Austin and director of the Quantum Information Center website, said: books. Having said that, this is actually not the first time I’ve come across the bizarre notion that the exponential quantum acceleration of factoring integers, which we know from Shor’s algorithm, should somehow ‘explode’ in inferences of quantum optimization that embody nothing of the actual insights of the algorithm. Shore, as if by sympathetic charm.”

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