Quantum Bayesian Networks

June 26, 2009

Quantum Cryptography Snake Oil

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 7:11 pm

In a previous post, I expressed my agreement with Bruce Schneier’s opinion about quantum crypto. Today I came across a news item entitled:

“Global Quantum Cryptography Market to Reach $842 Million by 2015, According to a New Report by Global Industry Analysts”

What a dumb investment that would be! That money could be used to build a large scale quantum computer. $842M = (70M)(12) = 12 D-Waves (or maybe more, if they come cheaper by the dozen)



  1. I have a hard time believing that number. I would be very surprised if the actual sales in 2015 reach 5% of that. I also agree with Schneier’s opinion on quantum crypto. On a related note there is a company based in Malta that claims to have a crypto scheme that is provably hard against quantum computation, see http://media.synaptic-labs.com/downloads/pub/publications/s-use/marketing/20090101-SecureCollaboration-USP.pdf for example.

    It would be difficult to run 12 different quantum computing hardware development efforts. Although I would really like to see a few more pop up over the next couple of years.

    Comment by Geordie — June 29, 2009 @ 12:00 am

  2. Hmmm. I have to say I disagree with you guys for a couple of reasons. Some of those reasons are outlined here. In addition to those, however, QCrypto and quantum computing are intimately linked. Once quantum computers become an everyday reality, nearly every (aside from the above?) standard encryption protocol becomes vulnerable since most are based on RSA in some way. Thus, the safest thing would be for QCrypto to outpace quantum computing just slightly so that it stays far enough ahead to protect us while still remaining relevant (i.e. actually being worth it).

    Comment by quantummoxie — July 22, 2009 @ 11:45 am

  3. http://www.networkworld.com/weblogs/security/004842.html
    “Comprehending quantum crypto is not for the weak. It’s said not to be quantum computing but is part of quantum mechanics.”

    “Basically, there is one thing that quantum computers have been found to be capable of doing much better than classical computers. That one thing has been characterized variously as “finding hidden subgroups”, “solving the abelian stabilizer problem”, or “finding periodicities in abelian groups”. Because this one thing happens to lead to polynomial-time algorithms for integer factoring and discrete log, quantum computers have been bandied about as an incredible new computing technology, but the truth is that this one thing is really very limited in scope, and in a decade and a half, nobody’s found another significant application for it.

    Moreover, there are lots of (admittedly informal) reasons for believing that quantum computers can’t really do anything interesting beyond this one thing. So we’re left with a technology that, even if perfected*, is unlikely to be able to accomplish anything of interest beyond solving a certain narrow class of number theory problems.**”

    Comment by Tae Song — September 7, 2009 @ 6:37 pm

  4. Tae, I disagree with Dan Simon. An area of quantum computing that interests me greatly is the use of a quantum computer to do MCMC. Dan Simon doesn’t seem to be aware of very encouraging discoveries that have been made in that area. My objections to quantum crypto are based on an important fact; namely, that there are known classical cryptographic codes that cannot be broken by a quantum computer. Dan Simon’s objections to quantum computing seem to be merely his own personal predictions of the future.

    Comment by rrtucci — September 7, 2009 @ 8:11 pm

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