According to a paper titled “Factoring integers with sublinear resources on a superconducting quantum processor, 24 Chinese researchers have reportedly succeeded in breaking 2048-bit RSA encryption using a quantum computer. This can prove to be a significant achievement as RSA encryption is extensively used in current security practices.
However, several experts, cryptographers, and computer scientists do not believe the researchers have made a significant discovery solely based on the scientific paper published. In Sept. 2022, the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warned that a post-quantum world was coming soon and stressed that contemporary encryption techniques could break.
Months later, i.e. recently, in December 2022, the scientific paper published by Chinese researchers claiming to have broken RSA encryption using a quantum computer came into the limelight. The paper follows a report from April 2022 that claimed that China was “taking the lead” in the quantum computing race.
Financial Times questioned a few experts about the paper, and Roger Grimes, a computer security expert and author, said that it is a huge claim and that it would mean that governments could crack other governments’ secrets.
While sharing his opinion on the latter, Bruce Schneier, a computer security and cryptography expert, said that we have no empirical proof that the new quantum algorithm overcomes the Schnorr scaling problem. He added that there’s no reason to believe it won’t, but there’s no reason to believe it will.