I was recently attacked by the LockBit 3.0 ransomware. I researched it and found this article: LockBit 3.0 Ransomware Unlocked. It said that "files are encrypted using the Salsa-20 algorithm." I have the decryption ID and it also explains that "the unencoded first eight bytes of the public key are converted to their hex values and saved to the DECRYPTION_ID.txt file." I wondered if I could make a program on a classical computer that could somehow brute-force the keys, but I realized that could take years, literally.

I then wondered if using a quantum computer would help. I saw something called the Grover algorithm that I might need to use. Instead of O(N) time, it makes it O(sqrt N) time. Since, I have the decryption ID, I would think the process would be a little shorter, but maybe not by much. After all this, could I brute force this in a reasonable amount of time? If so, how would I go about it with qiskit?


1 Answer 1


I'm sorry to disappoint you, but with the current state of quantum hardware it is not possible to brute force any symmetric algorithm with a non-trivial key size (let alone 128 bits of key size, which is the minimum in Salsa-20).

If you are still curious, here is a textbook example with 3-bits, implemented in Qiskit.


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