Experts warn of ‘quantum apocalypse’
If you’re too young to experience Y2K’s impending relentless digital doom before the turn of the millennium, fear not! The quantum apocalypse is a hot new threat on the block that could change the entire digital life as we know it. Hopefully, like the Y2K panic, companies and individuals will work on and implement solutions that make all fears seem exaggerated in hindsight.
The bad news is that quantum computing is far more complicated than a date issue like the Millennium Bug, and experts have warned of potential consequences as we head toward a quantum apocalypse, according to the BBC (via Futurism).
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The premise is largely that quantum computers have the ability to be far more powerful than anything most people can use today, and they are always getting better. When this leap finally arrives, it will be staggeringly huge, and many of our currently secure digital processes will be immediately attacked by this technology. Using quantum computing can take decades to crack encryption on current hardware, no matter how good your cipher is.
“Everything we do on the internet today,” PostQuantum chief strategy officer Harry Irwin told the BBC, “everything we do, from online shopping, to banking, to social media interactions, is encrypted.”
So the fear of suddenly having a much more powerful computer than we’re used to, ready to use, could really impact many people’s lives. For the tech-savvy and the non-technical, the jump could represent a huge gap in tech, and history doesn’t often support the latter. Therefore, many bad actors are working hard to develop these high-speed computers for nefarious purposes.
Quantum computing at this scale is likely a long way off, and many speculate that it will be at least a decade before it actually begins to be implemented in society. Thankfully, this just gives us more time to prepare. Big tech companies and governments are already struggling to find quantum-proof solutions for storing their own sensitive data, so there’s certainly an interest and momentum in readiness.
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