A Report On The Quantum Meltdown Of Encryption
With quantum computing, encryption and blockchain are being viewed as a farfetched idea. Why and how is it being eyed in the context of the technology advancements? The article highlights a few examples.
Quantum Computing And The Encryption
To state the fact, the world is now at the cusp of one of the greatest breakthroughs in information technology of blockchain and quantum computing. As the steps taken are huge leaps forward in all fields of computer science thereafter from data analysis to machine learning resulting from this breakthrough were like all of man’s technological achievements that are ranging from the combustion engine to the nuclear power harnessing quantum coming with the potential dangers as well with the quantum computers creating a slew of the unforeseen vulnerabilities in the very infrastructure keeping the digital sphere safe.
In this case, we observe the underlying assumption behind the encryption ciphers is used today for their complexity precluding any attempt by the hackers to break them. Therefore, it would take years for the most advanced conventional computers to do so whereas quantum computing is changing all of that.
Promising to bring computational power leaps and bounds these quantum computers are ahead of the most advanced machines as recently the scientists at Google began testing their cutting edge 72 qubit quantum computer. Here researchers expect to demonstrate with the machine quantum supremacy for the ability to perform the calculation impossible with traditional computers.
What Is The Chink In The Armor?
Public Key Infrastructure or PKI is the standard encryption techniques based on a set of protocols brought to the world of information technology in the 1970s whereas generating the complex cipher is through random numbers only being the intended recipient of a given message which the one in possession of the private key can decode.
PKI as a system of encoding data was sound and reliable to implement it as a method used in the real world where there is still one question needed to be answered that how are individuals confirming the identity of the party reaching out and making a request to communicate? Here the fact is that leaving the door open for cybercriminals this vulnerability impersonates legitimate servers or worse inserts themselves into the conversation between users and the intercept communications between them by what is known as a Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) attack.
Solving the authentication problem by blockchain in the form of digital certificates, electronic documents the contents of which can prove senders to be who they claim to be as the solution by the industry. At the initiation of a session the submission of the certificates allows the parties to know who it is they are about to communicate with as the trusted third party companies today are called Certificate Authorities or CAs creating and providing the documents which are relied upon by everyone from private users to the biggest names in tech.
Here one major hurdle is that the certificates themselves rely on the public-key cryptographic functions for their reliability as it is not too distant future with a vulnerable attack by quantum machines having altered certificates used by the cybercriminals to fake their identities completely undermining certificates as a method of authentication.
Therefore, Decentralizing The Threat
When it comes to encryption, this isn’t the first time they have had to get creative. As the Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto with the true identity still unknown had revealed the revolutionary idea in a 2008 whitepaper he also introduced the beginnings of the unique peer-to-peer authentication system called Blockchain today. At its core, the brilliantly innovative blockchain system has an open ledger recording transaction between the two parties permanently thereby not needing third party authentication as it provides the global record-keeping network that has therefore kept Nakamoto’s digital currency safe from fraudsters.
Based on the concept of decentralisation Blockchain is spreading the authentication process across the large body of users with no single piece of data is altered without the alteration of all other blocks that could require the collusion of the majority of the entire network.
Blockchain and Bitcoin for years remained the same. It was about five years ago that the innovators in the industry began thereby realise that the blockchain could then be used for more than just securing cryptocurrency. It could produce programs altering the original system designed for Bitcoin to be applied in a wide range of industries extending from healthcare to insurance to political elections. The new decentralised system gradually began to emerge such as those of Ripple and Litecoin where one of the original contributors to the Bitcoin codebase VitalikButerin had released his Ethereum project that was also based on blockchain. These new platforms have therefore added to the picture the ability to record new types of data additionally to currency exchanges such as loans and contractual agreements.
How Can We Save PKI?
For protecting encryption from the ever-growing processing power the best solution is integrating decentralisation into the Public Key Infrastructure.
Here it essentially means that instead of keeping the digital certificates in one centralised location, it is making them vulnerable to being hacked and tampered with as they would be spread out in a worldwide ledger fundamentally impervious to alteration. Attempting to modify certificates a hacker would be unable to pull off such a fraud meaning the change data stored on enumerable diversified blocks spread out across the cybersphere.
The Final Thoughts
Being already proven as a highly effective way of protecting recorded data from tampering has been decentralisation which uses a blockchain type system replacing the single entity Certificate Authority keeping the digital certificates safer. Therefore, it is one of the only foreseeable solutions keeping the quantum revolution from undermining the foundations of PKI.