The NSA is worried about quantum computers. It warns that it “must act now” to ensure that encryption systems can’t be broken wide open by the new super-fast hardware. In a document outlining common concerns about the effects that quantum computing may have on national security and encryption of sensitive data, the NSA warns…
“public-key algorithms… are all vulnerable to attack by a sufficiently large quantum computer.”
Quantum computers can, theoretically, be so much faster because they take advantage of a quirk in quantum mechanics. While classical computers use bits in 0 or 1, quantum computers use “qubits” that can exist in 0, 1 or a superposition of the two. In turn, that allows it to work through possible solutions more quickly meaning they could crack encryption that normal computers can’t.
It’s unclear if any public encryption algorithms are quantum computer-proof. In the document, the NSA explains that “while a number of interesting quantum resistant public key algorithms have been proposed… nothing has been standardized… and NSA is not specifying any commercial quantum resistant standards at this time.” Instead, it suggests that companies and government departments concerned about the threat of quantum computing use one of a number of algorithms that don’t use a public key to encrypt data where possible. By the way, OTPSME is not a public-key encryption system.
SOURCE – Gizmodo.com