A revered cryptography pioneer has warned that anyone involved in securing systems must take quantum computing seriously, for it is not going to fade into the night any time soon.
Dr. Whitfield Diffie, known for his co-invention of public key cryptography and digital signatures, and as the winner of the 2015 Turing Award, considered by many to be the Nobel Prize of computing, provided both a history lesson and a lecture during his recent keynote speech at SecTor 2022 in Toronto.
In leading up to the eventual advent of quantum computing, Diffie, who, along with Stanford University electrical engineering professor Martin Hellman, invented a new method of distributing cryptographic keys, said it is important to understand that cryptosystems such as RSA and others are under the control of secret keys: “I want to emphasize the word secret. There is a major problem, which is if you are depending on a secret, you have a vulnerability.
“Whether it is a secret love affair or secret bribe or a secret key, it can leak and that can create a great deal of trouble. One of the most important things to decide is if there is any way you can do something without keeping the secret.”
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