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Understanding the Impact of Quantum information on Information Security



Encryption plays a vital role in securing digital communication by protecting data from being disclosed to or modified by unauthorised parties.  Although the standardised encryption algorithms in use today are believed to be secure against conventional computing technology, if physicists are successful in building quantum computers -- harnessing the power of quantum mechanics to perform some types of computation much more quickly -- some of our encryption schemes would no longer be secure.

In this presentation, I'll give a background on cryptography and information security, then discuss the impact of quantum computing on information security.  I'll talk about how quantum computers will break most public key cryptography algorithms used today, and how this motivates the field of "post-quantum" cryptography that could resist quantum attacks. I'll discuss in particular crypto-systems based on the "learning with errors" problem and the difficulty of solving mathematical problems on lattices.  I'll also discuss how quantum information can be used to protect information.



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McMaster University - School of Computational Science and Engineering