Spies may be storing data to decrypt with a future quantum computer

Technology



12 October 2021

By Matthew Sparkes

Networks

Quantum computers can’t crack encrypted networks – yet

Krunja/Getty Images

Intelligence agencies may be intercepting encrypted messages and storing them in the hope that they can eventually develop a practical quantum computer to crack them, a security researcher who has worked with the UK government has warned.

Although dozens of research groups are currently trying to build a practical quantum computer, none has yet publicly succeeded. Such a machine could quickly find the prime factors that serve as the multiplicative building blocks of a number – for example, 3 and 7 are the prime factors of 21. …

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