[E-Lang] MintMaker with ACLs

Marc Stiegler marcs@skyhunter.com
Thu, 1 Feb 2001 12:49:37 -0700

Though quantum computers can attack the encryption algorithms required for
all current forms of secure distributed programming (not just capability
systems), the fundamental capability concept as a confinement mechanism on a
single computer cannot be broken simply by having enormous compute power
available. There is nothing to apply the compute power to :-)

Perhaps this means that quantum computers will necessarily have to use
capability based security for their own operating systems :-)


----- Original Message -----
From: Bill Frantz <frantz@communities.com>
To: Ralph Hartley <hartley@aic.nrl.navy.mil>; <e-lang@eros-os.org>
Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2001 7:39 PM
Subject: Re: [E-Lang] MintMaker with ACLs

> 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
> >conventional computation.
> >
> >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
> memory that the required key length is only painfully slow with today's
> computers.  Please tell me if I am wrong.)
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