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Chinese Researchers Claim to Break Encryption Using Quantum Computers

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A silicon wafer of quantum computer chips made by Hitachi.

Computer security expert Bruce Schneier said the paper had left open the question of whether the technique would work in practice.

Credit: Yoshio Tsunoda/AFLO

Scientists in China are claiming they have found a way for current-generation quantum computers to crack the RSA algorithm underlying the most common form of online encryption.

The researchers said the encryption could be broken with a 372-quantum-bit (qubit) system using hybrid quantum-classical methods to overcome scaling limitations .

They said their algorithm factored a number with 48 bits on a quantum system with 10 qubits.

However, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Peter Shor pointed out that the team had "failed to address how fast the algorithm will run," as it could "still take millions of years."

From Financial Times
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