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I love physics, mathematics and kids. My great ambition is to learn kids that numbers are nature.

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The advent of quantum computers could be a risk for modern encryption based on prime numbers.

Will our security be compromised by quantum computers? 😱

In 10 seconds? Prime numbers are not only an abstract mathematical stuff. They have many applications, mainly in encryption. Every time you make a purchase on-line, your security is protected by an encryption scheme, called RSA algorithm, based on the factorization of prime numbers.

Don’t believe it?Your credit card number is encrypted using a public key consisting of a large number that is the product of two prime numbers. The credit card number can be decrypted by the decoding party that knows these two prime numbers. read more

How may we know that the credit card number will not be decrypted by someone else? The factorization of a large number in two primes is very difficult and using more computers in parallel one would need too much time. For example, it took researchers two years to factor a 232-digit number, even with hundreds of parallel computers. read more

Why quantum computers would be a risk?

Quantum computers could be much more efficient than traditional computers –Quantum computing relies on atomic-scale units, called “qubits”. While in traditional computers a bit can take a value equal to 0 or 1, a qubit can be simultaneously 0 and 1 and carry two separate streams of calculations in parallel. Researchers could factorize the number 15 with a stable system. see the paper

We don’t know when quantum computing will be a reality —Researchers think that quantum computer will arrive in three decades, but it could take less time. At present, quantum computers are not easy to build and quantum algorithms must be written in order to read their answer. read more

New “post-quantum” algorithms for encryption are under study —One of such algorithms, called Quantum Key Distribution, does not require a quantum computer and uses quantum physics to build a key. The algorithm is promising, but it has still limitations in distance and amount of data that can be sent. read more