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A swiss company reveals gaps by quantum computing


Security experts are concerned that advances in quantum computing could eventually facilitate the break-up of encryption that protects the privacy of people's data, because these sophisticated machines can perform calculations at impossible speeds for conventional computers, which may enable them to decode previously thought non-decryption.

According to the Bloomberg report, Terra Quantum AG says it has made a breakthrough using quantum computers to detect vulnerabilities in commonly used encryption. It believes that it has found a security vulnerability that could jeopardize the confidentiality of the world's Internet data, banking transactions, and emails.

The Swiss technology company said its discovery "is flipping the current understanding of what constitutes unbreakable encryption" and could have major implications for the world's leading technology companies, such as Google Alphabet and Microsoft.

But some other security experts said they were almost unwilling to announce a major encryption breakthrough, at least not until the company published the full details of its research.

"If that's true, that's a huge result," says Brent Waters, a computer science professor specializing in encryption at the University of Texas at Austin. It seems somewhat unlikely on the face of it. However, it is very difficult for experts to think of something without publishing it."

IBM spokesman Christopher Siaka said his company has known the risks for 20 years and is working on its own solutions to address the issue of post-quantum security.

"That's why the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) is facing a challenge to develop a new secure quantitative encryption standard," he said in an email. "IBM has many proposals for this new standard in its final phase, and it is expected to occur in a few years," he said.

Brian Lamasia, an engineer at Microsoft, said the company's cryptographic designers are collaborating with the global encryption community to prepare customers and data centers for a quantitative future.

"Preparing for security in the post-quantum world is important not only to protect and secure data in the future, but also to ensure that future quantum computers do not pose a threat to the long-term security of today's information," he said.

Terra Quantum AG has a team of about 80 quantum physicists, cryptographers, and mathematicians based in Switzerland, Russia, Finland, and the United States.

"What is now seen as safe before quantum will not be so after quantum," said Markus Bevlitsch, CEO and founder of the company. "We can prove that it is not safe and can be breached," he said.

He founded the company in 2019. He is a former financial director who began his career as a research scientist at CERN.

The Swiss company's research is led by two senior technology officials, Gordy Lesovsk, head of the Quantum Information Technology Laboratory at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, and Valeri Vencourt, a Chicago physicist who in 2020 won the Fritz London Memorial Award for his work in intensive subject matter and theoretical physics.

The company said its research found vulnerabilities affecting replication encryption codes, including the advanced encryption standard, which is widely used to secure data transmitted over the Internet and encrypt files.

Using the "quantum" method, the company said its research found that even the most powerful versions of advanced encryption standards could be demountable by quantum computers that could be available within a few years from now.

Fincore said the Terra Quantum team came to the discovery after learning how it reflected the "hash function," a mathematical algorithm that converts a message or part of the data into a numerical value.

He said the research would show that "what he thought was unbreakable no longer exists (and will not be), adding that the discovery "means that another thousand ways can be found soon."

The company, which is supported by Zurich-based venture capital firm Lakestar LP, has developed a new encryption protocol that it says cannot be compromised by quantum computers.

Terra Quantum is currently seeking a patent for the new protocol. "We will open access to our protocol to make sure we have a safe and secure environment," Bevlitsch said. "We feel compelled to share it with the world and the Community of Comomi," he said.