• "Given their power to intercept and disrupt secret communications, it is not surprising that quantum computers have the attention of various U.S. government agencies.  The National Security Agency, which supports research in quantum computing, candidly declares that given its interest in keeping U.S. government communications secure, it is loath to see quantum computers built. On the other hand, if they can be built, then it wants to have the first one.”

    Prof Seth Lloyd of MIT, MIT Review 2008

  • “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

  • “The more complex the threats become, the more you have to do the basics and groundwork really well. Staying aware and on top of new vulnerabilities and ensuring that patches and software updates are rapidly implemented is crucial.”

    Jeff Shipley, Cisco Intelligence Collection Manager, Cisco 2008 Annual Security Report

  • In the next five years we will counter many 'hacker' attacks but we will not be safe from Nation States and other large entities

    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
  • "Some physicists predicted that within the next 10 to 20 years quantum computers will be built that are sufficiently powerful to implement Shor’s ideas and to break all existing public key schemes. Thus we need to look ahead to a future of quantum computers, and we need to prepare the cryptographic world for that future.

    Prof Seth Lloyd of MIT, MIT Review 2008

  • “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

  • "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
  • "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

  • “Never underestimate the attention, risk, money and time that an opponent will put into reading traffic.”

    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

  • Build-in Security: Ensure that security is considered and built into the design of new infrastructure, so that our critical assets are protected from the start and more resilient to naturally-occurring and deliberate threats throughout their life-cycle."

    Obama-Biden Plan, Agenda: Homeland Security, December 2008

  • “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

  • “Business now relies on information infrastructures that are interlinked and interdependent… The way in which these hidden interdependencies pervade our everyday lives is staggering and, in some cases, may go unchecked for many years until an incident occurs that revels the true nature of the interdependences' impact.”

    The British Government’s Technology Strategy Board, 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

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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