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‘Q-Day’ Could Come As Soon As 2025, Cybersecurity Experts Say | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware


Quantum computers rely on subatomic particles to do some serious number crunching. Pictured above is laser than manipulates atoms at startup that makes quantum computers.
Boston Globe/Getty Images

  • “Q-Day” is when quantum computers will be able to crack codes protecting our digital data.
  • Quantum computers can perform calculations impossible on regular computers.
  • Experts say we might get to “Q Day” as soon as 2025. 

There may come a day when super-powered machines known as quantum computers can crack the codes that safeguard our digital data. That includes the codes that encrypt data across our public networks and protect information in places like banks, government agencies, and major companies.

It’s known as “Q-Day.” It’ll be a massive turning point for how the world thinks about digital privacy, as it could put confidential information at risk of exposure. 

Cybersecurity experts don’t all agree on when this day will arrive. Some researchers predict that “Q-Day” will come sometime in the middle of the century, according to Reuters. Others think it’s set to arrive much sooner.

“Q-Day” might come by 2025, Tilo Kunz, the executive vice president of the Canadian cybersecurity firm Quantum Defen5e, told officials at the US Department of Defense, according to Reuters. 

Quantum computers are vastly more powerful than regular computers as they rely on the properties of subatomic particles to do some serious number-crunching. They can perform calculations that wouldn’t be possible on today’s computers and process information at drastically higher speeds.

One major issue right now is that the key processing units of quantum computers, known as qubits, aren’t stable for long enough to decrypt large amounts of data. So today’s quantum computers are still pretty small and have limited processing power.

When the technology gets there, though, it’s “likely to be as transformational in the 21st century as harnessing electricity as a resource was in the 19th century,” Michael Biercuk, the founder and CEO of quantum tech company Q-CTRL, told Reuters. 

So global superpowers like the United States and China are pouring tons of money into quantum research ahead of Q-Day. With companies like IBM, Amazon, Intel, Google, and more building quantum processors, North America is widely seen as the leader in quantum computing development. In 2022, the United States invested $1.8 billion into quantum research, while Canada committed an additional $100 million, according to estimates from consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

But China is not far behind and is pouring money into research at an astounding rate. China has announced investments in quantum computing totaling more than $15 billion, which means it “stands as the highest in the world,” McKinsey said.

It’s anyone’s guess which country will get there first. But whichever one does could have far-reaching implications for global security.

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