Earlier this week, Canada’s electronic spy agency the Communications Security Establishment warned government agencies and businesses against quantum mechanics, which could cripple the majority of encryption methods implemented by leading corporations and agencies globally.
Governments and private companies employ a variety of cryptographic security systems and protocols to protect and store important data. Amongst these encryption methods, the most popular system is public key cryptography (PKC), which can be integrated onto a wide range of software, platforms, and applications to encrypt data.
The Communications Security Establishment and its chief Greta Bossenmaier believes that quantum computing is technically capable of targeting PKC-based encryption methods, making data vulnerable to security breaches and hacking attempts from foreign state spies and anonymous hacking groups.
The challenge of protecting systems is about to get a lot harder thanks to quantum computing,” stated Bossenmaier at the Ottawa conference of the Canadian Association of Security and Intelligence Studies.
Bossenmaier further emphasized that government agencies and businesses must reconsider an overhaul of their encryption systems to prevent quantum computing from crippling their encryption methods. The Communications Security Establishment, which has collaborated with the Canadian central authorities for a substantially long period of time, explained that every Canadian citizen could be vulnerable to data theft if quantum computing takes over PKC encryption.
“It’s not really a question of if, it’s a question of when. The clock has started to tick. So unless we collectively get ahead of the quantum challenge and rethink encryption, the systems and information of companies, of governments, of organizations, of citizens — potentially every Canadian citizen — could be vulnerable,” said Bossenmaier.
The Communications Security Establishment is also considering improving their encryption methods overtime, as they’re contracted by the government of Canada to collect and decrypt sensitive information such as phone calls, emails and social media messages.
Role of Bitcoin in Cryptography Market
Bitcoin is arguably the most secure and reliable form of money the world has ever seen since its birth in early 2009. The protocol itself hasn’t been compromised or hacked over the past 7 years, due to its active open source community and its rising hashrate contributed by miners around the world.
If mainstream encryption methods become compromised as Bossenmaier suggests, banking systems, financial services and platforms will be in danger of various data thefts and security breaches. Considering the number of successful cyber attacks on banks over the past decade, the damage quantum computing may cause to banks is unparalleled to any vulnerabilities or attacks imposed until now, and will be incredibly difficult to mitigate.
By then, Bitcoin’s role in the cryptography and mainstream financial sector will be clear: a reliable and robust world currency for users to transact anywhere and at any given time, without the threat of security breaches and hacking attempts.