Google has successfully achieved quantum supremacy, a feat that is less than exciting news for the future of encryption. Quantum supremacy allows computers to crack encrypted keys with complicated math that were previously impossible to figure out. This means that the protection of important data like government and personal information is at risk of being hacked. While there is a long way to go before quantum computers are available to everyday hackers, precautionary measures must be taken now in order to safeguard the future of cryptography processes.
Quantum Xchange believes that there is a better way to prevent hackers from stealing information than creating quantum-resistant algorithms. The answer is to use a new encryption key altogether — one that relies on the physics of quantum mechanics instead of intricate math equations.
This quantum key is called QKD and it is made up of photons rather than numbers. Using physics, the key relies on the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle to maintain an identity that is unable to be decoded. Under this principle, QKD remains in its current state so long as it is not observed. In other words, if a hacker were to steal data encrypted with QKD, therefore “observing” it, the key would change altogether.
With the achievement of quantum supremacy and (limited) availability of quantum computers, today’s encryption processes created with math are challenged. Quantum Xchange believes that by taking on cryptography with quantum physics, the future of encrypted data is better protected as long as the rules of physics remain uniform.
Read Quantum Xchange’s interview with Inverse here.