• "History has taught us: never underestimate the amount of money, time, and effort someone will expend to thwart a security system. It's always better to assume the worst. Assume your adversaries are better than they are. Assume science and technology will soon be able to do things they cannot yet. Give yourself a margin for error. Give yourself more security than you need today. When the unexpected happens, you'll be glad you did."

    Bruce Schneier, "Why Cryptography Is Harder Than It Looks", 1997
  • “It's not good enough to have a system where everyone (using the system) must be trusted, it must also be made robust against insiders!”

    Robert Morris, former Chief Scientist of the US National Security Agency (NSA), National Computer Security Center, "Crypto '95 invited talks by R. Morris and A. Shamir", 1995

  • “Consider the use of smart cards ... for especially critical functions.  Although more costly than software, when properly implemented the assurance gain is great.  The form-factor is not as important as the existence of an isolated processor and address space for assured operations – an ‘Island of Security,’ if you will.  Such devices can communicate with each other through secure protocols and provide a web of security connecting secure nodes located across a sea of insecurity in the global net.”

    Brian Snow, Former Technical Director of the US National Security Agency (NSA), "We need assurance!", 1999-2008

  • "Today’s systems must anticipate future attacks. Any comprehensive system – whether for authenticated communications, secure data storage, or electronic commerce – is likely to remain in use for five years or more. It must be able to withstand the future: smarter attackers, more computational power, and greater incentives to subvert a widespread system. There won’t be time to upgrade it in the field."

    Bruce Schneier, "Why Cryptography Is Harder Than It Looks", 1997
  • “When will we be secure? Nobody knows for sure – but it cannot happen before commercial security products and services possess not only enough functionality to satisfy customers’ stated needs, but also sufficient assurance of quality, reliability, safety, and appropriateness for use. Such assurances are lacking in most of today’s commercial security products and services.”

    Brian Snow, Former Technical Director of the US National Security Agency (NSA), "We need Assurance", 2005

  • "My colleagues at MIT and I have been building simple quantum computers and executing quantum algorithms since 1996, as have other scientists around the world. Quantum computers work as promised. If they can be scaled up, to thousands or tens of thousands of qubits from their current size of a dozen or so, watch out!

    Prof Seth Lloyd of MIT, MIT Review 2008

  • "Even a relatively small quantum computer, one that had a few tens of thousands of qubits, could consider so many different values at once that it would be able to break all known [ed: RSA, D&H, ECC, AES-128] codes commonly used for secure Internet communication.”

    Prof Seth Lloyd of MIT, MIT Review 2008

  • “Assurance is best addressed during the initial design and engineering of security systems, NOT as an after market patch. The earlier you include a security architect in your design process, the greater the likely hood of a successful and robust design. As the quip goes, he who gets to the (module) interface first wins.”

    Brian Snow, Former Technical Director of the US National Security Agency (NSA), "We need Assurance", AusCERT 2008

  • “Briefly and simply, assurance work makes a user or a creditor more confident that the system works as intended without flaws, without surprises, even in the presence of malice.” … “The major shortfall is absence of assurance or safety mechanisms in software.  If my car crashed as often as my computer does, I’d be dead by now.”

    Brian Snow, Former Technical Director of the US National Security Agency (NSA), "We need Assurance", AusCERT 2008

  • "The future ability of quantum computers might be a decade or two away, their future ability to break public-key cryptography has important implications for the encryption of highly sensitive information today. For these applications, we must already design new public-key cryptosystems and one-way functions that are immune to quantum cryptanalysis."

    ARDA, Report of the Quantum Information Science and Technology Experts Panel, 2004

  • "There is a good chance that large quantum computers can be built within the next 20 years.  This would be a nightmare for IT security if there are no fully developed, implemented, and standardized post-quantum signature schemes."

    Prof. Johannes Buchmann, et al, “Post-Quantum Signatures”, Oct 2004, Technische Universität Darmstadt

  • “Given today’s common hardware and software architectural paradigms, operating systems security is a major primitive for secure systems – you will not succeed without it. This area is so important that it needs all the emphasis it can get. It is the current ‘black hole’ of security.”

    Brian Snow, Former Technical Director of the US National Security Agency (NSA), "We need assurance!", 1999-2008

  • “We are a cyber nation. The U.S. information infrastructure--including telecommunications and computer networks and systems and the data that reside on them--is critical to virtually every aspect of modern life. This information infrastructure is increasingly vulnerable to exploitation, disruption, and destruction by a growing array of adversaries.”

    The National Coordination Office (NCO) for Networking Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD), Federal Register: December 30, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 250).

Resources Expert Opinions Quantum computing

Quantum computing

This section quotes leading cryptographic and quantum computing experts on the timing, capabilities and impact of quantum computers on global security systems. These quotes are often longer and more detailed than the quotes that cycle on the right hand side of each page.

Title Filter     Display # 
# Article Title
1 quote: Johannes Buchmann, Jintai Ding, Building quantum computers since 1996
2 quote: Seth Lloyd, Building quantum computers since 1996
3 quote: ARDA, New concepts for QC appear almost weakly
4 quote: ARDA, Quantum computers is a rapidly evolving field
5 quote: ECRYPT, Breakthrough in quantum computation would spell doom
6 quote: Prof. Johannes Buchmann, Good chance large quantum computers in 20 years... This would be a nightmare for IT security if...
7 quote: Brian Snow, Public key crypto would essentially be flat-lined by quantum computing
8 quote: ECRYPT, 30 to 50 year security should take quantum computers into consideration
9 quote: ECRYPT, Recommendations made today should be assigned a rather small confidence level
10 quote: Seth Lloyd, Even a relatively small quantum computer could break all known codes
11 quote: Seth Lloyd, Given their power to intercept and disrupt
12 quote: Gilles Brasssard, Takes no more time to break RSA than to run it
13 quote: Brian Snow, Quantum computers flat-line RSA, D&H, and ...
14 quote: ARDA, Code breaking quantum computers may be a decade or two away
15 quote: SecurIST, We need to be prepared for large quantum computers
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