Skip to main content
  1. Tech
  2. Gadgets & Tech
  3. Internet

Quantum computer built by NSA to crack any encryption

See also

The NSA is building a computer that uses quantum mechanics, giving it such vast computer power that it could break even the strongest encryption methods available. This secret program could overpower tools used by banks, the military, and any service that aims to keep data private and secure.

According to the Washington Post, this information has come from documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden last year. The documents refer to a program called “Penetrating Hard Targets” – an $80-million research program to create “a cryptographically useful quantum computer” that are housed in shielded rooms known as Faraday cages. These rooms are designed to protect against electromagnetic energy that can interfere with the delicate experiments.

The NSA is already under fire for previous revelations regarding the collection and storage of massive amounts of user data. In July 2013, Lavabit, an encrypted email service, shut down operations in response to a search warrant from the United States government ordering them to turn over their SSL private keys. Lavabit’s founder claims other secure mail providers who had plans to shut down received court orders forcing them to stay open.

With the power of a quantum computer, court orders and search warrants for online businesses could become a thing of the past. Any system using public-key encryption would be breakable by a quantum computer. Private-key cryptography, which involves a shared secret key between two or more parties, is more difficult to break with a quantum computer.

A company in Canada called D-Wave Systems is already be producing small quantum computers. In June 2013, they installed a D-Wave Two at the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab created by NASA, Google, and USRA, and have headquarters in Vancouver, B.C.

Advertisement

Don't Miss

  • Massive
    Ubisoft Massive exclusive: 'The Division', PS4 & Xbox One, Activision to Ubisoft & more
    Camera
    Games Exclusive
  • iPhone
    Get your wallet ready: The next iPhone could cost $100 more than your last one
    Video
    Tech Buzz
  • Civ
    Need to catch up on 'Sid Meier's Civilization'? Here is everything you need to know
    Camera
    Games Feature
  • Google Glass
    See how Google Glass is letting sick kids go to the zoo without leaving the hospital
    Tech News
  • Upcoming
    These are 2014's biggest PS4, Xbox One and Wii U games
    Camera
    Games Feature
  • Google
    Google has filed for a patent to develop contact lenses capable of taking photos
    Video
    Headlines

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about Examiner.com and apply today!