I’ve been thinking recently about the geo-politics currently thanks to the airliner video, and this led me to some things after a little bit of digging.
Quantum computing race – the U.S and China are two nations in particular which are in a race to gain quantum supremacy. China, besides the European Union, is really the only other nation on Earth that can rival the progress that America is making.
When the Malaysian airliner disappeared over the ocean back in 2014, Chinese researchers earlier that year had made the news for factoring the highest number until that point (143) using only four-qubits.
China was making important progress in the race to obtain a working quantum computer, something that perhaps deeply worried the IC of the United States.
Then, fast forward to early this year, 2023, and it seems that China has made much more progress on the topic, specifically in relation to encryption – https://greekreporter.com/2023/01/21/chinese-scientists-break-encryption-quantum-computing/. The article mentions that more work is needed to prove the method that the Chinese researchers employed will indeed work, but it seemed promising.
It’s also worthy of note that the Malaysian airliner carried many passengers who worked in the chip industry, including one IBM employee. Most were indeed technical staff working for an American based chip-maker called Freescale, 8 of whom were Chinese. The IBM employee was a “technical storage executive,” at IBM.
According to a Snowden leak: from a Washington post article also from 2014.
“According to documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the effort to build “a cryptologically useful quantum computer*” — a machine exponentially faster than classical computers — is part of a $79.7 million research program titled “Penetrating Hard Targets.” Much of the work is hosted under classified contracts at a* laboratory in College Park, Md. “
It could all just be a coincidence, but it does appear that the disappearance of the plane could point to a larger cold war/arms race of trade secrets regarding quantum computing that involves both the U.S and China that unfortunately made the Malaysian airliner a casualty.
This post isn’t entirely about the airliner, however, it’s more about the question: is the “time constraint” regarding a possible breakthrough in quantum computing that would render the encryption that the DoD/Pentagon and IC use useless, thereby making top-secret information (NHI and reverse engineered craft) vulnerable to a cyber attack that may have happened already, or may happen in the near future? Coulthart never provides a timeline, so it’s possible the time constraint could be measured in weeks, months, or a few years from now.
Sorry if the points I’m making seem out of order, but below is a summary:
Minor point – Malaysian airliner disappearance might be related to a secret race to have a working quantum computer that can bypass all kinds of encryption used especially by militaries and governments around the world, which means that a political motive is indeed there. Main point – Time constraint: China might be close to that goal, and now they are faced with the possibility that there is a nation out there that might be able to get into their servers and steal highly, highly classified information, including that which relates to NHI and the reverse-engineered programs, so they are hurriedly trying to let this information come out carefully b/c disclosure of this information is certainly riddled with crimes and violations that could land certain people in jail, so it’s a dicey situation.
As it is now, there is currently no practical protection against Quantum computing hacking. There are efforts to try and create a different set of encryption methods, but there is nothing out yet that can do this successfully, so we are in a situation where the sword might come before the shield. There is a technique in hacking called “steal now, decrypt later,” which is what China might be engaged in at the moment, and they just can’t access it yet without the Quantum computing power necessary to do it, which they might achieve soon if they haven’t already. So, I assume they might think, “let’s air all of this out now before China leaks information on NHI and makes the us – U.S military/government – look bad.” It’s a race to control the narrative.
https://www.cryptomathic.com/news-events/blog/how-to-protect-yourself-against-steal-now-decrypt-later#:~:text=%22Steal%20now%2C%20decrypt%20later%22,to%20break%20the%20encryption%20algorithm. – explains the “steal now, decrypt later” hacking technique.
Makes you again wonder what the Chinese spy balloons were doing in our airspace back in February, and what sort of information they were after.
Principle question for this discussion – has China managed to steal information related to NHI and the secret reverse-engineered programs, and are only now developing (or have developed) the potential to break the sophisticated encryption that protect that information?
Those are my thoughts.