Chinese researchers claim success in breaking RSA encryption with quantum computer, experts debate validity of discovery – Bitcoin News

According to reports on the Internet, 24 Chinese researchers have succeeded in breaking RSA encryption using a quantum computer. This would be an important achievement, as RSA encryption is widely used in current security practices. However, a number of experts, computer scientists and cryptographers do not believe that the researchers made a significant discovery, based on a scientific paper published in December 2022.

The race for quantum computing heats up as Chinese researchers claim a breakthrough in RSA encryption

In September 2022, the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warned of an imminent post-quantum world and emphasized that modern encryption methods could be broken. Months later, in December 2022, a scientific paper published by 24 Chinese researchers claimed to have broken the 2048-bit RSA encryption using a quantum computer. The paper follows a report from April 2022 detailing China “taking the lead” in the quantum computing race.

Chinese researchers claim success in breaking RSA encryption with quantum computer, experts debate validity of discovery

Basically, a quantum computer is a type of computing device that uses quantum-mechanical phenomena and can perform operations on data faster than classical computers can perform computations. RSA is named after its creators, Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Leonard Adleman, and is widely used in today’s computer systems. This is an example of a public-key cryptographic system, which means that modern computers often use it to encrypt and decrypt messages.

On January 5, 2023, the Financial Times (FT) reported in a paper that Chinese researchers had succeeded in cracking RSA encryption. The FT questioned several experts about the paper, and computer security expert and author Roger Grimes told the FT: “It’s a big claim – it means governments can hack other governments’ secrets. If it’s true — if it’s a big one — it would be a mystery like in the movies and one of the biggest things in computer science.”

There’s also a Google Group thread where people are discussing whether or not Chinese researchers factored 2048-bit integers. Computer security and cryptography expert Bruce Schneier published an analysis stating that the paper was based on a controversial paper written by German mathematician Peter Schnorr. Schneier also shared his thoughts on the breakthrough in so-called quantum computing with the Financial Times. “We have no empirical evidence [new] the quantum algorithm overcomes the Schnorr scaling problem,” Schneier told the FT. “There’s no reason to believe it won’t happen — but there’s no reason to believe it will.”

The potential of quantum computing to disrupt modern encryption methods has been a concern of cryptocurrency proponents for some time. However, some believe that if quantum computers can break encryption, it will be a closely guarded secret. When asked if he thought 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:

Because the moment you use it in Bitcoin, you announce to the world that we have quantum cryptography that we can break. [the] elliptic curve – Guess what happens? Your nuclear adversaries are improving their cryptography very easily and trying to implement quantum resistant cryptographic algorithms.

Speaking to the FT, cryptography expert Bruce Schneier concluded that while the researchers’ paper may be unfounded, the race for a quantum computer to crack encryption is heating up. “As in all these cases, the bet is that breaking RSA won’t work, but one day that bet will be wrong,” Schneier said.

Tags in this story

2048-bit integers , Adi Shamir , Bet , progress , Bruce Schneier , Chinese researchers , CISA , classical computers , computing tasks , computer , computer science , computer security , Crypto , cryptographic algorithms , Cryptography , elliptic curve , empirical proof , encryption , Google Groups, Leonard Adleman, film, nuclear challengers, Peter Schnorr, proponents, public key, Quantum, quantum continuum, Roger Grimes, Ron Rivest, RSA, Schnorr scaling problem, secrets

What do you think of reports of Chinese researchers claiming to have succeeded in breaking modern encryption techniques with a quantum computer? Let us know your thoughts on this topic in the comments section below.

Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is Head of News at News and a fintech journalist based in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He is passionate about Bitcoin, open source code and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 6,000 articles for News about disruptive protocols emerging today.

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