CYBERSECURITY
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CNBC

State-of-the-art cybersecurity computer system sells for US$15 million

Supercomputer comes from developer which counts Lockheed Martin and NASA among its previous customers

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 January, 2017, 12:38pm
UPDATED : Friday, 27 January, 2017, 12:38pm

A state-of-the-art computer system using quantum mechanics and valued at US$15 million dollars has been sold to a cyber-security firm.

D-Wave, the developers of the quantum computer, announced the sale to Temporal Defence Systems , earlier this week. Temporal Defense Systems are the first customers for the D-Wave 2000Q Quantum Computer. Previous D-Wave customers include Lockheed Martin, Google and NASA.

D-Wave claims that using the quantum computer will enable the cybersecurity firm to perform real-time security level rating, device-to-device authentication and identify, detect and prevent threats.

Dr Michael Green, of AI media platform Blackwood Seven, explained the difference between a quantum and a normal computer.

A standard computer uses binary data: every bit of data is either a one or a zero. Multiple bits are used to store memory, but each bit can only be in one state (position one or position zero) at any time.

“A quantum computer works totally differently, because you replace the bit with something called a qubit,” Green told CNBC.

“The good thing about it is it can be in both states at the same time, so that means that if add, for example, five bits… that means that computer can be in 32 states at the same time. If you have five bits in a normal computer, it can still only be in one state at a time.”

This means a quantum computer could perform 32 calculations at the same time as a normal computer performs one. That may not sound impressive, but the more bits that are added, the more calculations that can be done at once.

The D-Wave 2000Q Quantum Computer is claimed to have 2,000 qubits. D-Wave claims it was able to solve challenging problems 1,000 to 10,000 times faster than algorithms running on a server.

“We are the only company selling quantum computers, and our growing ecosystem of users and developers gives us the benefit of their practical experience as we develop products to solve real-world problems,” said Vern Brownell, D-Wave’s chief executive, said in a press release.

“While other organisations have prototypes with just a few qubits in their labs, D-Wave is delivering the systems, software, training, and services needed to build an industry.”

Applying quantum computing to cyber security will be revolutionary, according to James Burrell, Temporal Defense Systems’ chief technology officer.

“Combining the unique computational capabilities of a quantum computer with the most advanced cyber security technologies will deliver the highest level of security, focused on both prevention and attribution of cyber attacks,” he said.

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