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WaPo: The NSA is working on a quantum computer that can crack any code

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jan 2014 7:14

WaPo: The NSA is working on a quantum computer that can crack any code

According to Edward Snowden, the NSA is building a quantum computer that will crack any code and break any encryption, including what is used to protect medical, banking and military records.
The whistle-blower's documents (via Washington Post) revealed a $79.7 million research program designed to build a "cryptologically useful quantum computer."

Dubbed "Penetrating Hard Targets," the project is in active development, but the documents reveal that the NSA is no closer to building the computer than other developers in the scientific community.

Quantum computing is not expected to be accessible for at least another five years, unless there is a breakthrough. While standard computers use binary bits (zeroes and ones), quantum computers use quantum bits (simultaneously zero and one), allowing for quicker and more efficient calculations.

At the heart of the NSA's alleged desire for the computer is for national security purposes as a quantum computer could theoretically crack the RSA 1,024-bit encryption key used for online transactions and to secure financial transactions. Earlier this decade, computer scientists cracked a 768-bit encryption key but it took hundreds of computers and almost two years.

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