Meet up

Post Quantum Cryptography Apocalypse

Thursday, 3rd September, Online Meetup

This meetup was organised by Thursday's Matter in September 2020


This Thursday's Matter is ... Post Quantum Cryptography, why it is important and what it might look like. Codurance's James Birnie joins us to discuss Shor's Algorithim and the potential threat it poses to cryptography.

Thursday's Matter is a virtual meetup on the topics that truly matter to today's developers. This session of Thursday's Matter is co-organised by Codurance.

Join us every Thursday when we'll be joined by an expert from around the globe. Each week we'll explore topics such as functional languages, mobile development, agile methodologies and machine learning.

THE FORMAT A 40-minute expert talk followed by a Q&A session

Post Quantum Cryptography Apocalypse

Quantum computers are real and are starting to be used for some interesting applications. As well as many applications in finance, organic chemistry and complex dynamical systems there is an ugly elephant in the room. That elephant is Shor's algorithm.

Given a sufficiently powerful quantum computer, Shor's algorithm can factorise numbers in polynomial time. I have implemented it on a quantum simulator and it has been used on real quantum computers. When quantum computers are powerful enough nearly all the encryption techniques that we currently rely on will be useless.

The time is still far off when RSA will be useless but I will share some compelling reasons why we need to be taking action right now to avoid potential catastrophe in the not too distant future.

James Birnie

James has worked in software since the 1990s, when TDD was something you studied but never did and Agile and Lean were words you used to describe athletes. After working in a startup for 9 years, where he learnt the hard way about Agile, Lean Experiments, Microservices and Pipelines, he started a new life as a consultant in 2005. James is now a principal at Codurance where he tries to encourage positive business transformation through software excellence and a focus on outcome driven cross functional teams.

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