You thought your communication was secure? Quantum computers are coming!

Media:  Talk   

April 16, 2016

Byens Lys

Daniel J. Bernstein

Mathematician, cryptologist, programmer and professor of mathematics and computer science at the Eindhoven University of Technology and research professor at the University Illinois at Chicago. Homepage

Tanja Lange

Professor in cryptology at the department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the Eindhoven University of Technology. She leads a multi-million Euro project to protect data against quantum computers. Homepage


Electronica shamanism with a fine collection of toys and modified instruments blending with visual concepts into a livelooping club show. Homepage

Is cryptography safe? Are quantum computers going to break everything? Do we need to take action today to protect ourselves? Can we protect ourselves? Are locked briefcases the future of secure communication?

"King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is." Rogue government agencies have a long history of suppressing democratic dissent. Technological advances have now given these agencies an unprecedented ability to monitor the entire population, and the Snowden revelations show that the agencies are not hesitating to take advantage of this ability: "Collect it all. Process it all. Exploit it all."

Society's last line of defense is encryption, mathematically scrambling private messages so that those messages cannot be understood by the attackers. But encryption is under threat from another technological advance on the horizon: a new type of supercomputing, called universal quantum computing. One of the goals of NSA's "Penetrating Hard Targets" program is to build a "cryptologically useful quantum computer".

Daniel J. Bernstein and Tanja Lange will explore the world of cryptography and the impact of quantum computers. Part of the story is terrifying: if activists and journalists encrypt messages today with RSA, elliptic-curve cryptography, and "perfect forward secrecy" then those messages will be read by government agents armed with future quantum computers. But there is also hope: a new generation of "post-quantum cryptosystems" that seem to resist quantum attacks.

Afterwards, crypto-cocktails while LUR, a crazy bunch of outer of space beings, with spacey dress code and weird linguistic traits, playing electronic shamanism with live loops and instruments which cannot be found anywhere else on planet earth.

Entrance to the event is free. No registration is necessary. Doors open at 19:00.

The talk: