34.Key AbstractDigital

Many people worry that quantum computers will be able to crack certain codes used to send secure messages. The codes in question encrypt data using “trapdoor” mathematical functions that work easily in one direction but not in the other. That makes encrypting data easy but decoding it hugely difficult without the help of a special key.

These encryption systems have never been unbreakable. Instead, their security is based on the huge amount of time it would take for a classical computer to do the job. Modern encryption methods are specifically designed so that decoding them would take so long they are practically unbreakable.

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