Chinese threat groups collect encrypted data to decrypt later with quantum computers


(IANS) Chinese threat groups are likely to soon collect encrypted data with long-term utility, expecting to eventually decrypt them with quantum computers, a new report by Booz Allen Hamilton has warned.

By the end of the 2020s, Chinese threat groups will likely collect data that enables quantum simulators to discover new economically valuable materials, pharmaceuticals and chemicals. Quantum-assisted AI, meanwhile, is unlikely to emerge or influence adversary behavior in the foreseeable future.

Quantum computing is evolving from the theoretical to the practical. Today, several quantum computers at global institutions can complete certain tasks orders of magnitude faster than any classical supercomputer.

Although quantum computers’ current abilities are more demonstrative than immediately useful, their trajectory suggests that in the coming decades quantum computers will likely revolutionize numerous industries-from pharmaceuticals to materials science-and eventually undermine all popular current public-key encryption methods, and plausibly boost the speed and power of artificial intelligence (AI).

What’s more, China has recently emerged as a major player in quantum computing, the report said.

Many organisational leaders and chief information security officers (CISO) lack insight into the practical importance of quantum computing and how to manage related risks., the report said.

They don’t know how and when the technology might become useful-and how it might shape the behavior of threat actors such as China, a persistent cyber adversary of government and commercial organizations globally and a major developer of quantum-computing technology, the report said.

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