Shor's Algorithm is a quantum algorithm that demonstrates how a quantum computer can efficiently break asymmetric key cryptography, such as RSA.
Shor's Algorithm is a quantum algorithm developed by Peter Shor in 1994 that demonstrates how a quantum computer can efficiently solve certain mathematical problems. One of the most notable applications of Shor's Algorithm is its potential to break asymmetric key cryptography, such as RSA.
Asymmetric key cryptography relies on the difficulty of factoring large numbers into their prime factors. Traditional computers struggle with this task when large numbers are involved, making RSA encryption secure. However, Shor's Algorithm, when executed on a powerful enough quantum computer, has the potential to solve the factoring problem exponentially faster than classical computers.
Breaking RSA-2048, which uses 2048-bit keys, with Shor's Algorithm is estimated to require several thousand logical qubits and millions of gate operations. Presently, quantum computers with the necessary capabilities are not yet developed, and Shor's Algorithm remains a theoretical breakthrough awaiting practical implementation.
Its important to note that Shor's Algorithm does not render all cryptography insecure. Symmetric key algorithms and methods with post-quantum security, like lattice-based cryptography or hash-based signatures, are not susceptible to Shor's Algorithm attacks and may be used as alternatives.