[E-Lang] MintMaker with ACLs
Wed, 31 Jan 2001 18:39:22 -0800
At 02:01 PM 1/31/01 -0500, Ralph Hartley wrote:
>What would be the effect of quantum computation on the basic design of
>security systems? It is clear that the effect would be substantial, but
>would it be total? That is, could old principles and designs still be
>used, with relatively small changes to block new threats and exploit new
>possibilities, or would you have to basically start over from scratch?
>Is the design of E one that would survive?
>Quantum computing would allow new threats to security, and new
>capabilities, some of which might be completely impossible in
>An example of a new threat would be the fact that quantum computers are
>known to efficiently solve some problems believed to be very hard for
>conventional computers. The most famous of these if factoring the
>product of two primes, but there are others. Anything that relied on the
>difficulty of such a problem for its security would be compromised.
All of the discrete log public key algorithms are isomorphic to factoring,
and so can be attacked by quantum computers. I am not sure about the
ecliptic curve algorithms, but I think they are also vulnerable.
E uses public key algorithms for identifying vats, and for encryption and
message-authentication key agreement. These functions will have to be
replaced, or their security enhanced by using longer keys. (I have a vague
memory that the required key length is only painfully slow with today's
computers. Please tell me if I am wrong.)