THE term “Quantum Threat” is related to the potential security risks that quantum computers could pose to current encryption methods. As quantum computers become more powerful, they could potentially break the encryption that is used to protect sensitive information, such as financial data and personal information. This could be considered a threat as it could allow unauthorized access to this information. It’s a new field and also a research area to have a solution for this concern. Quantum computers have the potential to pose a significant threat to national security, as they could potentially break the encryption that is used to protect sensitive information. Because quantum computers are much more powerful than classical computers, they could factor in large prime numbers much more quickly, which is the basis of many encryption algorithms. This would allow them to break the encryption that is currently considered to be unbreakable. In addition, quantum computers could also be used to simulate complex physical systems, such as those used in nuclear weapons which would allow adversaries to gain a deeper understanding of these systems and potentially develop countermeasures. Another area where quantum computers could pose a threat to national security is in the field of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Quantum computers could potentially be used to train powerful machine-learning algorithms that could be used for surveillance, target tracking and other military applications.
Quantum technology has the potential to impact Pakistan’s national security in several ways. The advancement in the field of quantum computing, quantum communication and quantum cryptography can enhance the protection of sensitive information, such as communication and financial data as well as military secrets. Quantum key distribution (QKD) could provide secure communications that are resistant to eavesdropping, even if an eavesdropper has access to a quantum computer. Furthermore, Pakistan has a number of leading research groups in the field of quantum technology that could be used to develop new technologies that would enhance its national security. However, it’s worth mentioning that the field of quantum technology is still in the early stages of development and it will take time to see the full impact of these technologies on Pakistan’s national security. It’s also important to keep in mind that Pakistan’s national security challenges are complex, with multiple layers and various actors involved and the security concerns related to quantum technology are only a small piece of the larger national security puzzle. The country’s investment in research and development in the field of quantum technology and international collaboration on research and development efforts related to quantum security, including the sharing of knowledge and best practices could enhance Pakistan’s capabilities in this field and strengthen its national security. However, it’s worth mentioning that there’s ongoing research and development to improve the security against these concerns. There are several countries that are considered to be potential “quantum powers” due to their significant investment and advancement in the field of quantum technology. China has also invested heavily in quantum technology, particularly in the area of quantum communication. The Chinese government has announced plans to launch the world’s first quantum satellite in 2016. It’s pertinently mentioned that the field of quantum technology is rapidly evolving and advancements are being made by researchers and companies in many countries around the world. It is difficult to say which country is the most advanced, as it depends on the specific area of quantum technology being considered. Cryptographic threats: Quantum computers have the ability to factor in large prime numbers much more quickly than classical computers which is the basis of many encryption algorithms. This means that they could potentially break the encryption that is currently considered to be unbreakable and access sensitive information such as financial data and personal information. Simulation threats: Quantum computers can simulate complex physical systems such as those used in nuclear weapons, which would allow adversaries to gain a deeper understanding of these systems and potentially develop countermeasures. Quantum Machine Learning and AI threat: Quantum computers could potentially be used to train powerful machine learning algorithms that could be used for surveillance, target tracking and other military applications. Quantum Network attack: the quantum network is one that enables quantum communication, a quantum network could be targeted by attackers, to intercept sensitive information and could cause a denial of service by disrupting the quantum key distribution. Quantum spoofing and eavesdropping: Quantum communication, like any other communication, can be targeted by attackers to intercept sensitive information or could cause a denial of service by disrupting the quantum key distribution There are several ways that states can counter quantum threats: Quantum-resistant cryptography: Developing new encryption algorithms that are resistant to quantum attacks, such as post-quantum cryptography, can help to protect sensitive information. Quantum key distribution (QKD): This is a secure way of generating and distributing cryptographic keys using the properties of quantum mechanics. It could provide secure communications that are resistant to eavesdropping, even if an eavesdropper has access to a quantum computer. Quantum-safe network infrastructure: Developing a quantum-safe network infrastructure that uses quantum-resistant protocols and technologies, such as quantum key distribution, can help to protect against network attacks. Quantum-safe machine learning: Developing techniques and algorithms for machine learning that are resistant to quantum attacks could help protect against threats posed by quantum-enabled AI. Quantum-safe software development: Developing software that is resistant to quantum attacks and can run on quantum-safe hardware. Quantum-safe chips and devices: Develop quantum-safe chips and devices that are resistant to quantum attacks, such as by using quantum-resistant algorithms and by implementing physical security mechanisms that prevent unauthorized access. International collaboration: Building international collaboration on research and development efforts related to quantum security, including the sharing of knowledge and best practices. Investment in research and development: Investing in research and development of quantum-safe technologies to ensure the security of current and future systems. These countermeasures are still under development and research, as the field of quantum computing and quantum security is rapidly evolving and the technology is still new. —The writer is a Research Officer at the Centre for International Strategic Studies (CISS) AJK. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org