Swiss technology company Terra Quantum said that it used quantum computers to expose vulnerabilities in commonly used encryption, which could threaten the confidentiality of the world's Internet data, banking transactions, and emails.
The company said the flaws affect symmetric encryption ciphers, including the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) used to secure data transmitted over the Internet and to encrypt files. Terra Quantum said it employed quantum annealing to determine that even the strongest AES encryption might be cracked by quantum computers that could be available in just a few years.
Valerii Vinokur, chief technology officer at Terra Quantum, said the team found the vulnerability by inverting a hash function, a mathematical algorithm that transforms a message or data portion into a numerical value. Terra Quantum has developed a new encryption protocol that is reportedly immune to quantum decryption, which Vinokur said uses quantum key distribution.
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