NSA building quantum computer capable of cracking most forms of encryption

By on January 3, 2014, 9:45 AM
nsa, encryption, quantum computing, quantum computer

The National Security Agency is building "a cryptologically useful quantum computer” designed to break nearly every kind of encryption, The Washington Post reported Thursday. According to the report, which cites leaked documents provided by Edward Snowden, the effort is a part of a $79.7 million research program code named Penetrating Hard Targets.

A quantum computer is a machine that is much faster than traditional computers. While a traditional computer works with binary bits, either zeros or ones, a quantum computer works with quantum bits or qubits, which are simultaneously zero and one.

Such a computer can decide to avoid calculations that are unnecessary to solving a problem. This gives quantum computer the ability to quickly solve very difficult problems like breaking a complex encryption.

The report also says that the intelligence agency carries out its quantum computing research activities in large, shielded rooms (known as Faraday cages) that are designed in such a way that prevents electromagnetic energy from coming in or out.

Although the documents indicate that the NSA is nowhere close to creating a quantum computer, if this does happen, it would be easy for the agency to break almost all forms of encryption that are currently being used to protect banking, medical, business, and government records all around the world.

The NSA declined to comment on the report.




User Comments: 13

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1 person liked this | wastedkill said:

"Penetrating Hard Targets"

Ha get it penetrating hard 'Targets' LOL...

2 people like this | GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

Thus, Skynet was born and the war on machines began.

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

I always knew quantum ideals would be our undoing.

3 people like this | treetops treetops said:

Its only enemy is the common filing cabinet.

lchu12 lchu12 said:

Its only enemy is the common filing cabinet.

Laughed out loud when I read your comment treetops.

Guest said:

People with an unusually small digital profile can be considered suspicious.

RzmmDX said:

Running all that hardware isn't cheap, especially with a "quantum" computer.

But this report seems to be trollish.

Guest said:

"Such a computer can decide to avoid calculations that are unnecessary to solving a problem." -- what rubbish is this?

Guest said:

Quantum is non-sense, like dark energy, big-bang etc..

ikesmasher said:

Quantum is non-sense, like dark energy, big-bang etc..

quantum=numbers. I don't know what you are talking about.

Guest said:

The Delft research group will probably beat the NSA developing the first stable quantum computer. Besides, once quantum computers are ready for use, we'd also have the possibility of quantum encryption which cannot be cracked without the receiver knowing about it...

Guest said:

Billion dollar machine won't read terrorists snail-mail.

Guest said:

They would be able to mine all existing bitcoin in a day and horde it away making it unrelevant

for example

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