Quantum Computing Technology: The Dark Side

quantum computing technology

Quantum computing technology is truly a masterpiece although it is not yet mature. I’ve already sung its praise: the benefits it brings to the table, the advantage it gives the telecom industry, and the radical revolution it will incite in the medical field. But it’s time to bring the expectations back to earth as there is a way to misuse technology and harm others.

Security in the Quantum Times

The quantum computer performs calculations that would take at least several thousand years on today’s most powerful computers in a matter of minutes. That statement is enough to raise alarms. Could you imagine if that technology was to become commercially available to anyone? Here’s what it could look like.

Geopolitics at Play

This technology could be the real-life equivalent of Marvel’s infinity gauntlets. Powerful countries will be racing to integrate it into their military strategies. And whoever crosses that military line first would be harvesting virtually infinite power. Imagine the same country that manages to get its hands on quantum computing technology is also a nuclear technology powerhouse. That thought alone is terrifying. It is quite obvious which countries will be actually contending for the first place, and the rest of the world would be watching in slow motion as the scales irreparably tip against it.

Obsolete Modern Encryption Methods

Modern encryption techniques are absolutely necessary for financial technologies. While any password or key can be cracked using brute-force attacks, as of right now, computing power prevents attackers from doing so in a reasonable time. Quantum computing technology will render all encryptions useless once made available to the general public. Most worrisome part? The industry is currently at a loss for how to prevent the inevitable.

As If Deep Machine Learning Is Not Weird Enough

The main thing to know about machine learning is beyond providing the data to the AI, programmers have absolutely no clue how the machine jumps to conclusions beyond that they use similar nonlinear “thinking” as we do. Let’s say we manage to achieve quantum machine learning. The ultimate black box issue will most likely arise. It will be more challenging to assess deep neural networks (DNNs) and judge the decision-making process across data, despite there being tools to reveal how hidden layers in a DNN operate.

Harvest Now, Decrypt Later

The threat begins now. “Harvest now, decrypt later” is a new threat where an attacker tries to steal encrypted data and retain it, possibly for years, in the hope that improvements in quantum computing will one day enable decryption. Some encrypted content may still be valuable to the attacker years later.

Final Thoughts

For all the things that can go right, a whole lot of other things can go wrong. And sometimes, the good outweighs the bad. Don’t get me wrong, I am looking forward to seeing quantum computing technology in action in the medical sector. But what happens when the downsides of a piece of technology are few but enough to irreparably tip the scales one way or another?

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