New report and research highlight need for quantum-safe cryptography

A new report emphasizes the vulnerability of current encryption methods to quantum computing threats. Specifically, Chinese scientists claim the ability to break widely-used encryption through quantum algorithms. However, skepticism exists among encryption experts regarding this claim.

A new IBM report titled Security in the quantum computing era highlights that quantum computing has the potential to affect encryption. Currently used data encryption mechanisms such as public-key cryptography (PKC) can become vulnerable: using quantum computing protocols, bad actors can easily decrypt data. The report suggests the need to plan for quantum-safe cryptography and crypto-agility.

Meanwhile, Chinese scientists have claimed they are capable of breaking encryption by using ‘a universal quantum algorithm for integer factorization that requires only sublinear quantum resources’. They argue that their method would break the RSA-2048 scheme – a public key cryptosystem used widely by governments, tech companies, the defence sector, and app developers for data security – with the use of a 372-qubit quantum computer. However, several encryption experts are sceptical about this claim.