Satellites to Protect Canada from Quantum Computers - Contract to Honeywell
Imagine computers so powerful that they can crack any password and shatter all the security on the internet. Science fiction?
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June 15, 2019 - by PHILIPPE MERCURE for lapresse.ca
Imagine computers so powerful that they can crack any password and shatter all the security on the internet. Science fiction? For now yes. But the scenario could become reality with the coming advent of quantum computers.
To prepare for it, Canada yesterday awarded a $ 30 million contract to multinational Honeywell to design a satellite capable of securing our communications. The point in five beats.
In theory, a quantum computer could solve in a matter of seconds problems that our current computers would take billions of years to elucidate. Its thing: instead of manipulating bits, these units of information that can take the value "one" or "zero", it manipulates quantum bits, or qubits.
A qubit can take the values "one" and "zero" ... simultaneously. Think of a coin thrown in the air that would fall on neither pile nor face. This property comes from the strange laws of quantum mechanics that govern the infinitely small and according to which a particle can be in two states at the same time. Instead of performing one operation at a time, quantum computers can do several simultaneously.
These machines of the future are not yet developed, but there are prototypes in the laboratories. "We do not know when quantum computers will be ready for commercialization, but we want to prepare for them," he said to La Presse Dean Sangiorgi, senior engineer with the Canadian Space Agency, speaking on a horizon of 10 to 20 years.
They also pose an underestimated risk: that of undermining the security of our communications. Given the computing power of such machines, passwords and other current protection measures would not last long. In a lecture given at the University of Montreal last year, researcher Gilles Brassard, world leader on these issues, spoke of nothing less...
Quantum Cryptography Pioneer: Gilles Brassard www.youtube.com