Quantum Computing and Cryptography: Their Impact on Cryptographic Practice

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Executive Summary

Quantum cryptography may find application in certain specific applications. For example, in securing metropolitan area data links. However, the constraints upon its use do not make it a practical solution for many popular applications of cryptography at this time. If research into quantum routers and quantum digital signatures bears fruit, though, this situation might change. It will likely be at least five to 10 years before quantum cryptography can address these limitations. Even then, it is not clear that the marginal improvement in security will justify the cost. Quantum computing (if it were to become practical on a large scale) will cause some reengineering of current cryptographic systems. Symmetric ciphers will be weakened.

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