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ECONOMY AND QUANTUM CYBERCRIME.
Cybercrime is a criminal act perpetrated through the internet and new information and telecommunications technologies.
Through these acts, cybercriminals are able to steal money through fraud and blackmail, as well as inflict irreparable damage on companies, institutions, individuals, networks, collectives, websites, and even entire countries.
Depending on the magnitude of the criminal acts, it could even lead to the destabilization and breach of user security, affecting the smooth functioning of organizations and the economy of a country.
But while science in terms of quantum computing and artificial intelligence is advancing at a limitless hypervelocity worldwide, (with the USA and China at the forefront), the European Union is proposing to begin legislating on it.
The current legislation on the inherent problems of artificial intelligence is practically non-existent. The main problem when trying to legislate something so modern and advancing so rapidly in its research is that by the time it comes to doing so, the subject of the legislation has become obsolete and consequently, as it's a global issue, it's necessary to unify action criteria.
Last Thursday, May 11, 2023, we woke up to news on the networks that the new regulation had been approved by the European Parliament, which we highlight will not allow this science to spy, will take into account copyright laws, will ban biometric categorization systems in terms of sex, race, religion, ethnicity, and others such as those capable of detecting individuals through facial recognition, a real challenge.
Everything revolves around science, as we academics know it's unstoppable, and if it's regulated in Europe and liberalized in countries like China, Japan, the USA, and many others, up to 180, we may find that they take the lead. To start with, Bard, Google's AI assistant, is already available in those 180 countries, but not in Europe, being able, among other things, to respond to any question extensively while allowing us to easily and quickly correct our photos, as well as our letters and all kinds of writings, giving them more enhancement, and if we talk about routes, it will offer them in a much-improved 3D. The same will happen with many other applications and scientific advances as this can lead to cybercriminals from outside the European Union committing crimes in our countries with technologies released in those 180 countries, finding easy prey in Europe to target.
But what will happen with quantum cybercriminals? Will quantum computers truly revolutionize science and the planet as a whole?
Will quantum computing end cybercrime or enhance it?
Is it dangerous for the planet or actually the solution? Is quantum the solution to all the problems that the company and the global economy may face? Will quantum resolve where to invest and where not with guaranteed success?
To answer these questions that we arrived at after a market research involving 50 executives from leading companies in their respective sectors, we'll start by defining what a quantum computer is. It uses quantum mechanics to process data in such a way that its calculations are the most accurate, efficient, fast, and secure thanks to qubits (quantum bits), which unlike bits (binary digits) used until now, will change the course of the economy and society in which we carry out our activities.
Qubits contain more information and a higher capacity for accuracy and facilitate it extremely more quickly; they are of an extremely probabilistic nature while bits are deterministic.
A quantum computer with qubits allows calculations to be made in minutes that would take hundreds of years to solve with a current bit computer.
Just a few months ago, at an academic meeting of this Royal Corporation at the University of Salamanca, chaired by the President of this Royal Corporation, Professor and Dr. JAIME GIL ALUJA, we came to the conclusion that the upcoming quantum computing will change the economy towards a new economy that will revolve around the quantum and that it was closer to quantum physics in terms of probabilities.
In this competition to lead quantum science and qubits, leading companies such as Baidu, IBM, Google have been in the news, the latter having announced quantum supremacy even before the Chinese scientists did two years ago. Such is the capacity of qubits that they allow resolving the most complex economic problems that may exist in the world and not making mistakes in economic and financial investments, detecting false expectations of said investment, however much companies invest in giving them more importance with great marketing gurus, lobby, or public relations.
Many startups and companies will be doomed to close, as the new quantum economy will be able to warn the investor of the danger he runs if he makes an investment, or that he should not carry it out, or that he urgently exits said investment, or on the contrary, that he continues with it. But what will happen with companies that quantum computers recommend investing in? Well, the price of these shares, as pointed out at our congress in Belgrade by Academic Dr. MARIO AGUER, will begin to rise, increasing the price of the share. This may lead us to even value the company more than it can generate in terms of real profit expectations, which will undoubtedly be dictated by quantum economy and quantum intelligence, and which after a few days will correct its own opinion to tell us to sell because the shares are super inflated. As our academic, Judge ENRIQUE LECUMBERRI, said at the last act of this academy, it will be a world of action and reaction, quick on time and at the right moment.
The new quantum economy will be led by the information that comes from these powerful computers and there will no longer be good or bad economists, there will be quantum computers or not, which will facilitate investment and decision-making. Consequently, it will no longer be about billing more each year at any cost in companies, but that billing more does not cost more than the company's own profits, and quantum computing will quickly reveal this, putting many companies in trouble. Even auditing will no longer be in charge, quantum computing will.
It happens that there are very well-known startups and companies today that lose money for each service to their customer and that they continue to carry it out independently without problems because they increase turnover but not profits, but not enough is known, with quantum computing it will be known at the same moment it happens, warning the investor. Even though costs increase, as turnover increases, the price of the company by the expectations of this turnover grows in value in the market. A similar example is Glovo, which according to its public accounts from January 1, 2022, its sales were 590 million euros, however, its losses were 474 million euros.
The hypervelocity that artificial intelligence is acquiring, argued by academic Dr. ENRIQUE LÓPEZ, coupled with quantum computing and in turn applied to the economy, makes the economic and financial institutions of the most advanced countries invest powerful amounts of money expecting, it is fair to recognize, hefty profits and security in all their transactions.
The most modern quantum processor is Osprey, patented by the reputable IBM, which has more than 400 qubits, but this company is preparing a new chip that will change the world and that will contain more than 1,100 qubits.
What has been exposed makes us wonder: What will happen with quantum cybercrime? The answer is relatively easy; it is reduced to adaptability to change, consequently, thieves, criminals, and professional scammers evolve over time and new technologies and are those who operate on the internet, being known under the nickname of cybercriminals or even cybercriminals. Their modus operandi has evolved since some start scamming in their city, then do it in neighboring cities, adapting it to the customs of the country and with the facilities of the new and powerful translators, translating their scams into several languages, and committing crimes with their scams all over the world. But with quantum technology applied to cybercrime, if used properly, these criminals will see their ways of scamming greatly reduced as it will allow detecting intruders in the systems, quickly alerting of scams, and much more. However, if quantum computing is misused, the danger is guaranteed and if other countries do not legislate and Europe does, we may be recipients of dangerous quantum scammers.
Currently, this type of cybercrime steals more than $600 billion worldwide, according to a study by McAfee, a leading company in the creation of antivirus software, and the CSIS Center for Strategic and International Studies. How much will quantum computers be able to steal? Everything, as it renders our current security system obsolete.
The concern about what is stolen is such that it is necessary that we see some examples of these cybercriminals and the damage they can cause today and before the dreaded quantum cybercrime arrives:
Kevin Mitnick, in a demonstration of what he was capable of, managed to steal very important data from the US defense command, as well as data from the Digital Equipment Corporation, to then be arrested and from prison attack the systems of the Pacific Bell Telephone Company.
Michael Calce, with his criminal acts on the networks and at only 17 years old, made the USA even change its current legislation. Michel was the cybercriminal capable of modifying Yahoo results as well as taking control of whatever he pleased in different universities. He even managed to block giant companies by taking them out of the game with attacks on eBay, Amazon, CNN, and many others.
Kevin Poulsen, his cybercrime led him at only 17 years old to infiltrate the most complex security systems of the USA in the Pentagon and to demonstrate his audacity even publish the secret data of the Pentagon itself regarding the Philippines. He is currently a regular writer for the North American magazine Wired, dedicated to demonstrating the impact of new technologies on global society.
The Astra Group, of which it is unknown who is behind it, managed to infiltrate the Dassault group and hack its powerful technological software, as well as confidential information about its high-tech weapons.
Alberto González, this Cuban cybercriminal settled in the USA was able to steal from the network 170 million credit cards, as well as secret numbers of ATMs. He was accused of three federal charges and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Annnonymous and OuerMine correspond to the two most dangerous hacking cybercriminal organizations who blackmail their victims by stealing profiles and disabling websites.
The Condor, is an alias of Kevin Mitnick who was the one who hacked the systems of Motorola and Nokia and today is a consultant in cybercrime.
Popescu specialized in car auctions and other luxury items that did not even exist, it was only photos stolen from other websites or doctored on the most important auction websites on the internet.
Vladimir Levin was the cyber author of the theft of 10 million dollars from Citibank.
Crackca was able to infiltrate the CIA and publish the identity of more than 30,000 agents on the networks.
All these crimes will remain ridiculous crimes and will be able to be avoided with quantum computing, but whoever controls such computing will also have the power to do evil and consequently steal whatever they want, and therein lies the danger of the nobility of the first country that has it, which we hope its motto will be peace and goodness.
In the USA, NASA already in 2014 made an important decision and pioneeringly invested more than 80 million euros in researching quantum computing.
Hence, Europe realized its importance and after that moment that marked a before and after, it was decided to invest in quantum technology the amount of 4,500 million euros, from this year 2023 to 2027. Our neighboring country, France, in 2021 decided to invest in quantum computing the amount of 1,800 million euros and so several countries.
But this makes us wonder: What is the goal of these countries? Well, among others, to obtain world hegemony, for example in health, it would be able to create effective drugs to cure cancer. In terms of security, avoid bank fraud or cancel cybercrime worldwide, but if misused, it would also allow espionage applied to countries and industries.
Moreover, the first country to have it would have in its hands the destabilization of the world as it would have the keys to asymmetric encryption or, in other words, the power to make a third world cyber war as they will decide whether to make a worldwide blackout being able to collapse all information systems at will.
The BBC published an article that acquired great international prominence titled "Quantum Apocalypse," that is, in which it affirmed that all the security and information systems of the companies and governments of the world would be vulnerable to quantum computing. Explaining to us how quantum could even give the necessary orders to empty our bank accounts or take over cryptocurrencies, it could even go further and take over the intelligence of armies.
Hence, current security algorithms and protocols either adapt to change quickly and at the same time as quantum advances or they will die, hence post-quantum algorithms are already being worked on in anticipation of what may come from the future, a quantum future that is already here and has come to stay.
From this podium of the Royal Academy, we want to finish as indicated in his last speech in Belgrade by the academic and professor Dr. VICENTE LIERN warning that scientific advances are unstoppable and that we will inevitably embrace quantum computing.
Consequently, as much as important institutions such as the US National Institute of Standards and Technology try to avoid problems before that announced clash and anticipate them, algorithms are already being investigated to be resistant to quantum computing, so that this quantum computing will inevitably later become obsolete as will bits with respect to qubits and then other algorithms and scientific advances will displace them and occupy their places and that world hegemony will be questioned by a race in which science and academics are and will be the future.
Author: Dr. José Daniel Barquero Cabrero. Professor and Professor of Economics and Business and CEO of SER, Strategic Economic Relations.
Copyright 2023 RACEF. Royal Academy of Economic and Financial Sciences.