Chinese Researchers Claim Success in Breaking RSA Encryption With Quantum Computer, Experts Debate Veracity of Discovery – Bitcoin News
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According to reports circulating on the Internet, 24 Chinese researchers have succeeded in cracking the RSA encryption using a quantum computer. This would be a significant achievement, as RSA encryption is widely used in current information security practices. However, several experts, computer scientists and cryptographers do not believe that researchers have made a significant discovery based on a scientific paper published in December 2022.
The quantum computing race heats up as Chinese researchers claim a breakthrough in RSA encryption
In September 2022, the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warned that a post-quantum world is coming soon and stressed that modern encryption technologies could be broken. Months later, in December 2022, a scientific paper published by 24 Chinese researchers claimed to have broken the 2048-bit RSA cipher using a quantum computer. The paper follows an April 2022 report that said China was “leading” the quantum computing race.
Basically, a quantum computer is a type of computing device that uses quantum mechanical phenomena and can perform operations on data faster than traditional computers can perform computational tasks. Named after its creators Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Leonard Adleman, RSA is widely used in today’s computer systems. It is an example of a public key cryptosystem, which means that modern computers often use it to encrypt and decrypt messages.
On January 5, 2023, the Financial Times (FT) reported that Chinese researchers have claimed success in breaking RSA encryption. The FT asked a few experts about the paper, and Roger Grimes, a security expert and author, told the FT: “It’s a huge claim – it would mean that governments could crack other governments’ secrets. If it’s true – a big if – it would be a secret like of movies, and one of the greatest things in computing ever.”
There’s also a Google Groups discussion where people wonder if Chinese researchers have considered 2048-bit integers. Bruce Schneier, an expert in computer security and cryptography, published an analysis stating that the paper is based on a controversial paper written by German mathematician Peter Schnorr. Schneier also shared with the Financial Times his opinion on the so-called quantum computing breakthrough. “We have no empirical evidence for that [new] quantum algorithm overcomes the Schnorr scaling problem,” Schneier told the FT. “There’s no reason to believe it wouldn’t – but there’s no reason to believe it will.”
The potential of quantum computing to break modern encryption techniques has worried crypto supporters for some time. However, some believe that if quantum computers can break the encryption, it will be a closely guarded secret. When asked if a quantum computer could break Bitcoin’s cryptography, Bitcoin evangelist Andreas Antonopoulos once said, “The last thing they’re going to use it for is Bitcoin.” Antonopoulos added:
The moment you use it in Bitcoin, you are announcing to the world that we have quantum cryptography that can be broken [the] elliptic curve – Guess what happens? Your core competitors upgrade their encryption technology very easily and try to implement quantum resistant encryption algorithms.
Speaking to the FT, cryptography expert Bruce Schneier noted that while the researchers’ paper may prove to be unfounded, the race for a quantum computer to crack encryption is heating up. “The bet is, as in all these cases, breaking the RSA won’t work — but one day that bet will be wrong,” Schneier said.
What do you think of reports of Chinese researchers who have claimed success in cracking modern encryption techniques using a quantum computer? Let us know what you think about this topic in the comment section below.
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