I'm writing a near-future sci-fi novel where general quantum computing has been developed and SSL has been replaced with a security protocol based on quantum key distribution (QKD). Tor would still be able to establish circuits based on QKD. What sort of attacks would be effective, given the speed of quantum computing? Could NSA perform statistical attacks fast enough to expose the whole network? Would there be a different class of attacks available to someone with fewer resources than the NSA?

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1 Answer 1


There are several mundane methods of encryption that are resistant to both quantum and classical systems; for example, the McEliece cryptosystem and Unbalanced Oil and Vinegar. I've heard of some groups who are already experimenting with similar implementations. As to speed of analysis, it would seem that at some point quantum computing and communications would cheapen to the point of public use, leveling the playing field.

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