Quantum strength? Really?
The National Security Agency and the hacker have the same problem... how to deal with an encryption technology that produces patternless output, for which there are too many keys to try in order to crack any particular encrypted file or message.
Too many? Let's put it this way: If you have a quadrillion (1,000,000,000,000,000) super-efficient computers each able to run full tests of a quadrillion unique keys per second, on each computer, then it will take over 10570 (10 to the power 570) life spans of our universe to try one half of the possible keys used to encrypt a single file or message. Neither the hacker nor the NSA is going to be around that long.
The assumptions here are: (a) that any sample of encrypted content is characterized by high entropy, that is, the sample is truly devoid of patterns which enable a hacker to trim the tree of possible unique keys; (b) that the hacker chooses to try at least half of the keys in an attempt to break the encryption; and (c) that physically violent or social engineering (personal deception) hacking methods can be omitted from this discussion.
They say that quantum computing will be powerful. Okay. Let's put 1040 quantum computers to work and suppose each can try 1040 unique keys per second. Then it would take only 10520 (10 to the power 520) life spans of our universe on average to crack one file or message. And just in case quantum computing gets vastly stronger, in a day of work we can juice up the power of MarpX Extreme Encryption so that it would take all of those time spans to over 101000 (10 to the power 1000) life spans of our universe. Do you want Extreme Encryption stronger yet? We propose to teach the NSA (not the hacker!) how to adapt the software so that we are dealing with numbers in the order of 103500 (10 to the power 3500) OR far beyond.
Quantum computing may turn out to be good, but not that good.
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Douglas Lowry, Ph.D.*
President, Marpex Inc.