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Building Encryption to Withstand Quantum Computing

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 06:46AM

Quantum computing is being developed in large part because quantum computers would be able to perform computations traditional computers simply cannot. This includes algorithms that could be used to defeat commonly used encryption standards. To protect against this, researchers at Washington State University have been working on an old code that even a mighty quantum computer may struggle to crack.

Public key encryption is a somewhat standard tool in protecting data today, as the computational power needed to defeat it is far beyond what a normal computer could achieve of thousands if not millions of years. Quantum computers however, with special algorithms could crack these codes very quickly, which could be a problem one day. To secure our data for the future, the Washington researchers turned to the past and resurrected the knapsack code. The knapsack problem was first developed in 1897 and asks that if you have one large number (the knapsack) and many smaller numbers, what subset of these smaller numbers would fill the sack? In the 1970s it was considered for encryption, but the knapsack code was broken by two methods, so people moved on. These researchers however are fixing its weaknesses.

With those fixes, the new knapsack code should be able to stand against more attacks, and potentially even those of a quantum computer. Outside testing is still needed to confirm these fixes, but it still could be promising for future security systems.

Source: Washington State University

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