An article posted yesterday by New Scientist (full article requires a subscription) appears to have serious implications for those who use encryption to secure information, which means everything that underpins online banking, e-commerce â€" and what secures most government information. Two researchers â€" one in Australia and another in China â€" have come one step closer to building a â€œlaser-beam quantum computerâ€ capable of breaking common encryption, according to the article abstract.
The article requires more than a passing knowledge of computer science and mathematical theory, as well as the ability to understand Shorâ€™s algorithm, which involves prime number factorizing. New Scientist does provide an explanation of Shorâ€™s algorithm.
But it doesnâ€™t take a mathematician or physicist to understand the implications; most IT managers should get it. From the New Scientist: â€œBoth groups have built rudimentary laser-based quantum computers that can implement Shor's algorithm - a mathematical routine capable of defeating today's most common encryption.â€
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