Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fighting Tomorrow's Hackers: Keeping Encryption Safe From Future Quantum Computers

Date:
February 6, 2009
Source:
Tel Aviv University
Summary:
One of the themes of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code is the need to keep vital and sensitive information secure. Today, we take it for granted that most of our information is safe because it's encrypted. Every time we use a credit card, transfer money from our checking accounts -- or even chat on a cell phone -- our personal information is protected by a cryptographic system. But the development of quantum computers threatens to shatter the security of current cryptographic systems used by businesses and banks around the world. Scientists are now developing a system aimed to keep encryption safe from quantum computers.

One of the themes of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code is the need to keep vital and sensitive information secure. Today, we take it for granted that most of our information is safe because it's encrypted. Every time we use a credit card, transfer money from our checking accounts-- or even chat on a cell phone-- our personal information is protected by a cryptographic system.

Related Articles


But the development of quantum computers threatens to shatter the security of current cryptographic systems used by businesses and banks around the world.

“We need to develop a new encryption system now, before our current systems-- such as RSA-- becomes instantly obsolete with the advent of the first quantum computer,” says Prof. Oded Regev at Tel Aviv University’s Blavatnik School of Computer Science. To accomplish that, Prof. Regev has proposed the first safe and efficient system believed to be secure against the massive computational power of quantum computers and backed by a mathematical proof of security.

Secure for Centuries

Prof. Regev stresses it is imperative that a new cryptographic system be developed and implemented as soon as possible. One reason is that current information, encrypted with RSA, could be retroactively hacked in the future, once quantum computers are available. That means that bank and other financial information, medical records, and even digital signatures could instantly become visible.

“You don’t want this information to remain secure for just 5 or 10 years until quantum computers are built,” says Prof. Regev. “You want it to be safe for the next century. We need to develop alternatives to RSA now, before it’s too late.”

New Cryptographic System

Cryptographic systems are used to transmit secure information such as bank and online transactions, and typically rely on the assumption that the factoring problem is difficult to solve. As a simplified example, if the number 3088433 were transmitted, an eavesdropper wouldn’t be able to tell that the number is derived from the factors 1583 and 1951. “Quantum computers can ‘magically’ break all of these factoring-based cryptographic systems, something that would take billions of years for current computers to accomplish,” Prof. Regev explains.

The current gold standard in encryption is the universally used RSA cryptosystem, which will be instantly broken once quantum computers are a reality-- an event predicted to happen as early as the next decade. To replace RSA in this new reality, Prof. Regev combined ideas from quantum computation with the research of other leaders in the field to create a system that is efficient enough to be practical for real-world applications.

Prof. Regev’s work was first announced in the ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing and will appear in the Journal of the Association for Computing Machinery. His work has now become the foundation for several other cryptographic systems developed by researchers from Stanford Research Institute, Stanford University, and MIT. Its potential real-world applications are extensive, ranging from banking transactions to eBay and other online auctions to digital signatures that can remain secure for centuries.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Tel Aviv University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Tel Aviv University. "Fighting Tomorrow's Hackers: Keeping Encryption Safe From Future Quantum Computers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090205110609.htm>.
Tel Aviv University. (2009, February 6). Fighting Tomorrow's Hackers: Keeping Encryption Safe From Future Quantum Computers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090205110609.htm
Tel Aviv University. "Fighting Tomorrow's Hackers: Keeping Encryption Safe From Future Quantum Computers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090205110609.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Newsweek's Tech Sexism Story: More Than Just A Cover

Newsweek's Tech Sexism Story: More Than Just A Cover

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) Some objected to the art for Newsweek&apos;s cover story "What Silicon Valley Thinks of Women," but it&apos;s achieved one mission: getting people talking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Now Bill Gates Is 'Concerned' About Artificial Intelligence

Now Bill Gates Is 'Concerned' About Artificial Intelligence

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) Bill Gates joins the list of tech moguls scared of super-intelligent machines. He says more people should be concerned, but why? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Facebook Rides Video, Mobile Waves To A Huge Quarter

Facebook Rides Video, Mobile Waves To A Huge Quarter

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) Mobile advertising now accounts for almost three quarters of Facebook’s total ad revenue. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
ISPs Angry After FCC Raises Requirement For Broadband Speed

ISPs Angry After FCC Raises Requirement For Broadband Speed

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) In a move to increase competition, the Federal Communications Commission upped the speed necessary for an Internet service to be considered broadband. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins