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Quantum hacking – it could be here quicker than you think

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Within a decade, quantum computers could be powerful enough to break the cryptographic security that protects cell phones, bank accounts, email addresses and — yes — bitcoin wallets, CNBC, the news business channel has reported.

Governments and private-sector companies such as Microsoft and Google are racing to make quantum computing a reality and at the same time ensure they can protect themselves and their clients against quantum attacks.

“If you had a quantum computer today, and you were a state sponsor – China, for example – most probably in about eight years, you could crack wallets on the blockchain,” said Fred Thiel, CEO of cryptocurrency mining specialist Marathon Digital Holdings, in the CNBC report.

What technology will company’s use to prepare for quantum hacking?

Arqit, a UK-based quantum encryption tech company, is preparing businesses for cyberattacks in the age of quantum computing. The company’s platform, QuantumCloud™, allows organisations to simplify and strengthen their encryption on a global basis, appliance-free.

Symmetric encryption is a well understood encryption technology that is known to be more secure than PKI, including against quantum attack. However, to date there has been no secure way to distribute symmetric encryption keys at scale. 

Arqit has invented a way to create those keys at endpoints when they are needed, at scale, securely, at any kind of end point device and in groups of any size. 

“We’re moving away from a complex Public Key Infrastructure and the need to trust third parties,” said Arquit on its website “Instead, we’re moving to an encryption platform designed for the cloud and a world of connected devices.”

Arquit has signed a quantum encryption collaboration agreement with Northrop Grumman to develop and understand the technology in defence and national security settings.

Arqit, which is planning to go public via a merger with a blank-check company, counts the likes of BT, Sumitomo Corporation, the British government and the European Space Agency as customers. The company, set up in 2017 by UK satellite industry veteran David Williams, also has subsidiaries in the United States.

According to CNBC, some of its team previously worked for GCHQ, the UK intelligence agency. The firm only recently came out of “stealth mode” — a temporary state of secretness — and its stock market listing couldn’t be more timely.

Ransomware attacks on organisations from Colonial Pipeline, the largest fuel pipeline in the US to JBS, the world’s largest meatpacker has been a huge wakeup call to national security teams and critical infrastructure assets.

To check out Arqit’s latest job opportunities click here.

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