Abbott had a great start to his Test career picking up nine wickets on debut against Pakistan at Centurion. He has been in good form in domestic cricket.
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System administrators are the glue holding together business operations, ensuring smooth-running IT infrastructures. The role requires in-demand career skills that range from server and client configuration and maintenance to access controls, network services and application resource requirements. SysAdmins may even work with more user-facing products, like directory and name services, network addressing, database services, web and desktop applications, and email. They’re often the company “tech expert” – sometimes at several organizations simultaneously.
System administrator certifications help IT professionals navigate their career paths, expand their knowledge and demonstrate their expertise to managers and employers. SysAdmin certs may even help you secure managerial and executive level jobs and higher pay.
Tip: If you’re a SysAdmin specializing in database services, consider exploring the best database certifications for database administrators and developers.
After examining various credentials, we developed this list of our five favorite system administrator certifications for 2023. These certifications are geared toward various experience levels, product interests and skill sets. They can foster your development within system administration, encourage you to explore new areas of expertise, and help you set and achieve career goals.
Many businesses operate within Microsoft ecosystems, making Microsoft certifications extremely valuable and sought after. However, Microsoft has overhauled its certification processes in exact years, replacing broad certificates like Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert with a wider variety of role-based certification options divided into the following roles:
Certifications come in beginner, intermediate, and expert levels, based on applicants’ experience.
Various system administrators may find some Microsoft certifications more advantageous than others. However, the Azure Solutions Architect Expert is the most in-demand certification for a SysAdmin with IT operation experience.
The Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification is ideal for someone with extensive experience using Azure to solve problems and make decisions for a business’s tech needs. Candidates must have experience with every level of IT operations as well as DevOps. Candidates will be tested on their knowledge and ability to design solutions for data storage, identity, infrastructure and more using Azure.
This certification combines elements of system administration, Azure implementation and solutions architect experience. Candidates should have one prerequisite qualification: the Azure Administrator Associate certification.
Tip: If you have solutions architect experience, check out our list of the best enterprise architect certifications. Credentials at the architect level can lead to some of the highest-paid tech industry positions.
Although Oracle is known for its database products and solutions, it also distributes Linux products geared for the enterprise and designed to support cloud environments. Oracle Linux is optimized for various Oracle products and platforms, such as:
To support Oracle Linux, the company offers several Oracle Linux System Administrator learning paths. It also provides several standalone Linux administration courses. Oracle’s Linux certifications are considered among the best Linux certifications to earn. We’ll highlight the Professional Oracle Linux 8 System Administrator certification below.
The OCP Oracle Linux System Administrator certification, currently at version 8, covers many tools and processes. Candidates must be well-versed in:
The certification also tests for knowledge of network bonding, task automation, security configuration and more.
SysAdmins who support Oracle Solaris might also be interested in the Oracle Solaris System Administrator certification, which Oracle offers at the Associate and Professional levels. Oracle also offers a Cloud Database Migration and Integration Professional certificate.
Did you know?: Oracle certifications are vendor-specific certifications to advance your networking career and are frequently sought after by SysAdmins.
In the realm of Linux system administrator certifications, Red Hat certifications stand out. Red Hat’s more senior-level certifications are especially popular among IT professionals and the firms that hire them. Those holding the Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) credential qualify for highly competitive job roles, including the following:
The RHCE is considered a high-level credential that’s not easy to obtain. Candidates must first obtain the Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) credential. The RHCE credential expands the RHCSA’s understanding of automation in multisystem environments. Candidates must then pass an intense, demanding, four-hour, hands-on, performance-based exam. Those who earn the RHCE can go on to earn the Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA) in Infrastructure credential.
Candidates can choose a path based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 or Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8. RHCE certification is valid for three years from the date the certification was achieved. To maintain the certification, a credential holder must pass any RHCA exam or pass the RHCE certification exam again before the end of the three years.
Tip: See our Red Hat certification guide for additional Red Hat professional certifications based on software products, virtualization, storage and cloud-based solutions.
|Certification name||Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE)|
|Prerequisites and required courses||
Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) certification via one exam: EX200 Red Hat Certified System Administrator
Note: Courses are not required, but Red Hat requests that candidates who opt out of the courses demonstrate equivalent experience.
|Number of exams||One exam: EX294 Red Hat Certified Engineer exam|
|Cost per exam||$400 (RHCE exam fee only)|
|Self-study materials||Several online education resources, including Udemy.com, offer courses to help you prepare for the RHCE exam. In addition, some books are available with resources to help you study for the test.|
CompTIA certifications, such as the A+ for hardware technicians, Network+ for network admins and Security+ for security specialists, are highly regarded in the computing industry. The CompTIA Server+ certification is no exception.
Companies such as Intel, HP, Dell, Lenovo, Xerox and Microsoft recommend or require their server technicians to earn CompTIA Server+ credentials.
The Server+ certification exam focuses on fundamental, vendor-neutral server-related topics, including:
Individuals seeking positions across the system administration world, including data technician, network administrator, IT technician and data center engineer, can benefit from CompTIA Server+ certification. This certification also provides new IT professionals with an excellent foundation for more specialized certifications.
Candidates for the Server+ certification take one exam: SK0-005. CompTIA recommends that candidates have at least two years of practical experience working with servers and either CompTIA A+ certification or comparable knowledge. This certification also stands out because it does not expire – certification is good for life.
|Certification name||CompTIA Server+|
|Prerequisites and required courses||Required: None Recommended: CompTIA A+ certification plus 18 to 24 months of IT experience|
|Number of exams||One exam: SK0-005 (90 minutes, 90 multiple-choice and performance-based questions; 750 on a scale of 100 to 900 required to pass)|
|Cost per exam||$358; purchase vouchers through CompTIA Marketplace; exam administered by Pearson VUE|
|Self-study materials||Links to practice questions, exam objectives, e-books and other training resources are available on the certification page. exam study bundles, including e-books and CertMaster practice, are available from the CompTIA Marketplace.|
Did you know?: CompTIA also offers some of the best computer hardware certifications as well as vendor-specific Dell certifications, help desk certifications and more.
VMware certifications are must-have credentials for IT professionals interested in virtualization. With a comprehensive certification program encompassing all skill levels, VMware credentials are recognized globally as the best in their class of professional certifications.
The latest incarnation of the VMware vSphere product is Version 8. VMware offers five credentials related to the vSphere product:
VMware also offers a wide range of badges for specific product applications. We’re highlighting the intermediate certification: Certified Advanced Professional – Data Center Virtualization Design.
Training is required for non-credential holders seeking to obtain the VCAP-DCV credential. VMware offers various training options to meet the training prerequisite: self-paced (on demand), live online and live classroom – some of which include virtual labs. Those possessing a valid VCAP-DCV Design certificate must attend a training course or pass the VCAP-DCV Design exam.
|Certification name||VMware Certified Advanced Professional – Data Center Virtualization 2023 (VCAP-DCV)|
|Prerequisites and required courses||Path 1 (non-VCP credential holders): Earn the VCP-DCV 2023 and pass the VCAP-DCV Design exam. Additional training courses are recommended but not required.
Path 2 (active VCAP-DCV Design or Deploy 2019 or newer credential holders): Pass the VCAP-DCV Design exam. Training is recommended but not required.
Path 3 (VCAP-CMA Design or Deploy 2019 or newer, VCAP-DTM Design or Deploy 2019 or newer, VCAP-NV Design or Deploy 2019 or newer holders): Earn the VCP-DCV 2023 and pass the VCAP-DCV Design exam. Training is recommended but not required.
Path 4 (VCAP-DCV Design 2021 holder): Either attend the training course in 2023 or pass the VCAP-DCV Design exam. Path 5 (VCAP6.5-DCV Design or Deploy or older): Earn the VCP-DCV 2023 and pass the VCAP-DCV Design exam. Training is recommended but not required.
|Number of exams||Professional DCV exam (130 minutes, 70 single and multiple-choice questions; must score 300 out of 500 to pass)
Exam for certification: VCAP-DCV Design Exam (150 minutes, 60 single and multiple-choice questions; must score 300 out of 500 to pass)
|Cost per exam||Professional DCV exam: $250 VCAP-DCV Design exam: $450|
|Self-study materials||VMware offers a downloadable exam guide for each exam. VMware Customer Connect Learning offers exam prep subscriptions.|
Key takeaway: Earning the best IT certifications, including system admin certs, is an excellent career advancement tool for amassing and validating your skills and knowledge.
In addition to the five system administrator certifications we highlighted above, many other certification programs can help further the careers and professional development of IT professionals in system administration.
It makes sense to investigate the plethora of vendor-specific programs available for those who work with systems from companies like Brocade, Dell EMC, HPE, IBM, NetApp and Symantec. Many play into critical system specialty areas, such as storage, security and virtualization, while others offer a broad range of platforms for these and other technology areas.
Here are some examples:
Vendor-neutral certification programs also offer a variety of interesting and potentially valuable credentials. For example, Linux Professional Institute certifications are well known and widely recognized in IT shops and operations that depend on Linux servers to handle their workloads.
Tip: Tech professionals may also want to consider certifications in adjacent fields, including big data certifications, starter cybersecurity certifications and project management certifications.
The following chart shows the results of an informal job search we conducted to supply you an idea of the relative frequency with which our top five certifications appear in genuine job postings. While all the certifications are popular, the CompTIA Server+ stands out as the clear favorite.
|Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert (Microsoft)||1,722||4,281||554||2,711||9,268|
|Oracle Linux 8 System Administrator (Oracle)||1,831||2,232||166||765||4,994|
|RHCE (Red Hat)||417||527||1,015||1,972||3,931|
|VCAP-DCV Design 2023 (VMware)*||2,884||2,885||220||4,932||10,921|
* When searching for VCP – Data Center credentials, we found most job descriptions didn’t indicate a specific version.
Although employers tend to pay SysAdmins less than some of their IT peers, such as network engineers and enterprise IT architects, a career in system administration is still worth pursuing. SimplyHired reports $79,283 as the national average salary for system administrators, with a range of $49,718 to $136,224. Indeed.com similarly reports that $76,942 is the average base salary for system administrators, while senior system administrators can expect an average salary of around $92,803.
IT systems are dynamic. They grow with companies and change with evolving technology. Therefore, it’s important for system administrators to nourish their skills. Certifications and training show you’re qualified to handle the responsibilities of your desired position while demonstrating your willingness to learn and grow.
As you move through your career in system administration, you may want to branch into new specialties or software. Fortunately, in addition to receiving certifications, you can access many excellent courses and educational resources to help you continue to grow in your field.
Ed Tittel and Kim Lindros contributed to the reporting and writing in this article.
South Africa consolidated their lead in the latest ICC Test Championship rankings issued on Tuesday while India retained the number five position. India last played a three-Test series in December against England which they lost 1-2 but they remained on 105 points. They are four points behind arch-rivals Pakistan, who have 109 points and are placed in the fourth spot. A 2-0 series win over New Zealand has earned South Africa one rating point and has lifted them to 124 points. This has opened up a six-point lead over second-ranked England. Meanwhile, Sachin Tendulkar is the lone Indian batsman in the top 20 list of ICC rankings for Test batsmen. With 653 points to his credit, Tendulkar has gained a spot and he is in the 19th position. Michael Clarke of Australia is currently the No.1 Test batsman thanks to his wonderful run in 2012. However, South Africa's Hashim Amla has moved within a striking distance of claiming the number one position for the first time in his career after he moved up a place to second. Amla is just one rating point behind Clarke and will have a shot at the coveted position when South Africa take on Pakistan in the first Test in Johannesburg starting on February 1. In contrast, Clarke will return to the Test arena only on February 22 when Australia face India in the first Test of the four-match series in Chennai. Pragyan Ojha (9th spot), Zaheer Khan (15th spot) and Ravichandran Ashwin (20th spot) are the three Indian bowlers in the top 20 and all have managed to maintain their respective places in the list. South African pacer Dale Steyn still tops the list. He has further consolidated his lead thanks to spells of 5/17 and 3/48 against New Zealand in the final Test at Port Elizabeth. Steyn has opened up a 45 point gap with team-mate Vernon Philander, who is currently placed second. Philander lost one rating point for missing the second Test due to injury.
In a Windows operating system, an Administrator account is an account that allows a user to make changes that require administrative permissions. An Administrator has more rights on a Windows OS as compared to the users with a local account. For example, the users with a local or standard account can access files and folders on their own user space, make system changes that do not require administrative permissions, install and uninstall programs, etc. On the other hand, an Administrator can change security settings, install and uninstall software, add and remove users, make changes to other user accounts, etc. In short, to perform the tasks that require administrative permissions, you should be logged in as an Administrator. In this tutorial, we will see how to log in as an Administrator in Windows 11/10.
Every Windows computer has a Local Administrator account that is created at the time of Windows installation. As described above, the Administrator has full access to the Windows device as compared to other standard users. The Administrator can also create new and delete the existing users and change the user account permissions. You can log in as an Administrator in Windows 11/10 by:
Let’s see all these methods in detail.
If you are starting your PC then locate the Administrator account and use the password to login.
If you are currently not logged in as an administrator and want to change to an admin, open Start, click on the user icon, select Sign out and then log into the Admin account by using its password.
The Windows OS has a built-in Administrator account. In Windows 11/10 and Windows Server 2016, the built-in Administrator account is disabled at the time of Windows installation and another local account is created which is the member of the Administrators group.
The built-in Administrator account is also called the Super Administrator account. If we compare the built-in Administrator account with the Local Administrator account, the built-in Administrator account has elevated privileges. This means when you perform the administrative tasks, you will not get the UAC prompt. Apart from that, if you want to do some serious troubleshooting on your Windows machine or if you want to recover your main account or another user account, you can use the built-in Administrator account.
Because the built-in Administrator account does not show the UAC prompt, any application can have full control over your system. Therefore, running this account on a regular basis can be risky. You should enable the built-in Administrator account only if you have to do some troubleshooting or recover other user accounts. After performing your task, you should disable it.
As explained above, every Windows OS has a Local Administrator account which is created at the time of Windows installation. Hence, you have to sign in to that Local Administrator account in order to enable the built-in Administrator account. After enabling the built-in Administrator account, you can login as an Administrator in Windows 11/10.
Every Windows 11/10 computer has a default Local Administrator account which is created at the time of Windows installation. Using that account, you can create another Local Administrator account for another user. To do so, open the Accounts page in your Windows 11/10 Settings and then click on the Family & other users option. Now, you have two options:
Let’s see how to create a Local Administrator account for a family member and other users.
You can use this option if you have another Microsoft account and you want to add that account as an Administrator to your Windows computer.
Now, you can login as an Administrator in Windows 11/10 using that account.
If you do not have another Microsoft account, you can still create a Local Administrator account. This time, you have to add an account in the Other users section on the Family & other users page. The steps are as follows:
Now, you can use this account to login as an Administrator in Windows 11/10.
Read: How to rename built-in Administrator Account in Windows.
If you already have created a local account on your Windows machine, you can change its type and use that account to login as an Administrator. The steps to change the local account to an Administrator account are as follows:
At the time of Windows installation, a Local Administrator account is created automatically. You can use that account to log onto your computer as an Administrator. Apart from that, you can also enable the hidden or built-in Administrator account or create an additional Local Administrator account.
We have explained all these methods above in this article.
To run Windows as an Administrator, you should have an Administrator account. There are different methods by which you can create an Administrator account. In addition to this, you can also enable the built-in Administrator account. But it is not recommended to use the built-in Administrator account on a regular basis due to security issues.
This is all about how to log in as an Administrator in Windows 11/10.
Read next: How to fix the disabled Administrator account on Windows 11/10.
This article mentions various methods to fix your disabled administrator account on Windows 11/10. To access most of the features, you need administrator privilege on your PC. And, if you are not able to access the administrator account for some reason, it can prevent you from doing a lot of things on your computer. If you are facing a disabled administrator account problem, look no further. Here, I will be discussing some solutions to resolve this issue.
Here are the methods that you can try if you are unable to access the administrator account on Windows 11/10:
Let’s discuss these solutions in detail!
Check if you can log on to Windows as an administrator in Safe Mode even when your administrator account is disabled. To boot Windows in Safe mode:
Once there, see if you can log in. One in, do the following:
Try activating the administrator account using the command prompt and see if it is able to fix the problem. You can follow the below steps for that:
net user administrator /active:yes
The above suggestions will help you if it is your admin account that has disabled.
The following suggestions will require you to be signed in as an administrator. So if it is someone else’s Admin account that has been disabled, you can try to re-enable it using the usual method or try these suggestions.
Open Command Prompt using steps mentioned in method (2). Now, type
regedit in CMD and press Enter button. Doing so will open up Registry Editor.
In Registry Editor, select HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE present in the left panel and then click File > Load Hive option.
Next, browse the following location on your PC:
Here, you will see a file named SAM; click and open it.
Now, you need to go to the following path in Registry Editor:
In this location, you will see a 000001F4 key which you need to select. And then, double-click on the F binary value present on the right side.
Now, check for 0038 entry and see the first column showing 11. Replace this value with 11/10.
Finally, press the OK button and then close both Registry Editor and CMD to reboot your PC.
This should fix the disabled administrator account issue on Windows 11/10.
Related: How to Enable or Disable built-in Administrator account in Windows 11/10.
Group Policy Editor allows you to configure several policies and can be used to control user accounts. You can use it to fix disabled administrator account on Windows 10 PC by following below steps:
Open Run app using Windows Key + R hotkey. Type gpedit.msc and then click on OK to open Group Policy Editor.
In the Group Policy Editor, go to the following option:
Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > Security Options
You will now see an Accounts: Administrator account status option in the right panel. Double click this option and a Properties window will open up.
Make sure the Enabled option is selected. If not, click on it and then press Apply > OK button.
Try creating a new admin account on your PC if you still get a disabled administrator account problem. You can create a user account and then convert it to an Administrator account. Use the Settings app to create a new administrator account by following the below instructions:
This will create an administrator account that you can start using.
Another trick to fix the disabled administrator account issue is to try enabling the hidden administrator account using Powershell.
Press Windows + X key to open up the shortcut menu and select Windows Powershell (Admin) option from it.
Alternately, go to the search box and type PowerShell and then open the Powershell app using the Run as administrator option.
Next, type and execute this command in Powershell:
Enable-LocalUser -Name "Administrator"
Doing so should enable you to access your administrator account on Windows 11/10.
Hopefully, this guide was helpful in case you were unable to access your administrator account on Windows 11/10.
Now read: Your IT administrator has disabled Windows Security
INDIA IN SOUTH AFRICA, 2013: TEST SERIES
• Published on
Morne Morkel was carried off the field on Day 3 of the first Test at the Wanderers. © Cricbuzz
Abbott had a great start to his Test career picking up nine wickets on debut against Pakistan at Centurion. He has been in good form in domestic cricket.
Morkel's availability for the Durban Test is in serious doubt with the physio stating that the fast bowler will need some time to recover. The South African captain, Graeme Smith added, "The diagnosis Brendon Jackson, the physio, has given is that he is 20% ready for Durban, which Morne believes is 80%. At the best of times, he struggles to control those legs. We missed him in our second innings. Let us hold thumbs, but I don't think the prognosis is great."
Morkel was taken to the hospital immediately after turning his ankle while fielding on Day 3 at the Wanderers. It was later confirmed it was a Grade 1 sprain.
© Cricbuzz (with inputs from agencies)
Windows has a nice account handling system that easily lets you have multiple users on a single computer. You can have three types of accounts — Standard, Guest, and Administrator, with administrator accounts having the highest permission levels. Handling one is quite simple if you know what you’re doing. Here’s how to delete an administrator account in Windows.
Read more: Everything you need to know about Windows 11
To delete an administrator account in Windows, log into a different administrator account, and go to Windows Settings -> Accounts -> Family & other users. Select the account you want to delete and click Remove-->Delete account and data.
There are two conditions you need to meet to be able to delete an administrator account in Windows. Firstly, you will need to be logged in to an account different from the one you want to delete. Secondly, that account needs to be an administrator account, as you cannot delete an administrator account from a guest or standard account.
If you don’t have a spare administrator account, you’ll need to create one and log in to it. You can do that in Windows Settings -> Accounts -> Family & other users -> Add someone else to this PC. Follow the login flow, and click Change account type -> Administrator -> OK.
Open Windows Settings and click Accounts. In the left tab, click Family & other users.
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority
Under Other users, click the account you want to delete. The user profile will expand to show two options. Click Remove. A confirmation dialog box will pop up. Click Delete account and data.
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority
That’s all. Windows may take some time depending upon how much data the user account had, but it will delete your administrator account.
Read more: How to run Android apps on Windows 11
All of your data on the account gets deleted, and you lose access to the account.
Three weeks ago, panic swept across some corners of the security world after researchers discovered a breakthrough that, at long last, put the cracking of the widely used RSA encryption scheme within reach by using quantum computing.
Scientists and cryptographers have known for two decades that a factorization method known as Shor’s algorithm makes it theoretically possible for a quantum computer with sufficient resources to break RSA. That’s because the secret prime numbers that underpin the security of an RSA key are easy to calculate using Shor’s algorithm. Computing the same primes using classical computing takes billions of years.
The only thing holding back this doomsday scenario is the massive amount of computing resources required for Shor’s algorithm to break RSA keys of sufficient size. The current estimate is that breaking a 1,024-bit or 2,048-bit RSA key requires a quantum computer with vast resources. Specifically, those resources are about 20 million qubits and about eight hours of them running in superposition. (A qubit is a basic unit of quantum computing, analogous to the binary bit in classical computing. But whereas a classic binary bit can represent only a single binary value such as a 0 or 1, a qubit is represented by a superposition of multiple possible states.)
The paper, published three weeks ago by a team of researchers in China, reported finding a factorization method that could break a 2,048-bit RSA key using a quantum system with just 372 qubits when it operated using thousands of operation steps. The finding, if true, would have meant that the fall of RSA encryption to quantum computing could come much sooner than most people believed.
At the Enigma 2023 Conference in Santa Clara, California, on Tuesday, computer scientist and security and privacy expert Simson Garfinkel assured researchers that the demise of RSA was greatly exaggerated. For the time being, he said, quantum computing has few, if any, practical applications.
“In the near term, quantum computers are good for one thing, and that is getting papers published in prestigious journals,” Garfinkel, co-author with Chris Hoofnagle of the 2021 book Law and Policy for the Quantum Age, told the audience. “The second thing they are reasonably good at, but we don’t know for how much longer, is they’re reasonably good at getting funding.”
Even when quantum computing becomes advanced enough to provide useful applications, the applications are likely for simulating physics and chemistry, and performing computer optimizations that don’t work well with classical computing. Garfinkel said that the dearth of useful applications in the foreseeable future might bring on a “quantum winter,” similar to the multiple rounds of artificial intelligence winters before AI finally took off.
The problem with the paper published earlier this month was its reliance on Schnorr's algorithm (not to be confused with Shor’s algorithm), which was developed in 1994. Schnorr’s algorithm is a classical computation based on lattices, which are mathematical structures that have many applications in constructive cryptography and cryptanalysis. The authors who devised Schnorr’s algorithm said it could enhance the use of the heuristic quantum optimization method called QAOA.
Within short order, a host of researchers pointed out fatal flaws in Schnorr’s algorithm that have all but debunked it. Specifically, critics said there was no evidence supporting the authors’ claims of Schnorr’s algorithm achieving polynomial time, as opposed to the exponential time achieved with classical algorithms.
The research paper from three weeks ago seemed to take Schnorr's algorithm at face value. Even when it’s supposedly enhanced using QAOA—something there’s currently no support for—it’s questionable whether it provides any performance boost.
“All told, this is one of the most actively misleading quantum computing papers I’ve seen in 25 years, and I’ve seen … many,” Scott Aaronson, a computer scientist at the University of Texas at Austin and director of its Quantum Information Center, wrote. “Having said that, this actually isn’t the first time I’ve encountered the strange idea that the exponential quantum speedup for factoring integers, which we know about from Shor’s algorithm, should somehow ‘rub off’ onto quantum optimization heuristics that embody none of the genuine insights of Shor’s algorithm, as if by sympathetic magic.”
On Tuesday, Japanese technology company Fujitsu published a press release that provided further reassurance that the cryptocalypse isn't nigh. Fujitsu researchers, the press release claimed, found that cracking an RSA key would require a fault-tolerant quantum computer with a scale of roughly 10,000 qubits and 2.23 trillion quantum gates, and even then, the computation would require about 104 days.
Attempts to obtain the research weren’t immediately successful, and Fujitsu researchers weren’t available by this story's publication. That makes it impossible for fellow researchers to know precisely what the findings are or how significant they are.
“For example, when [the Fujitsu researchers] say 10,000 qubits in the press release, do they mean logical or physical qubits?” Samuel Jaques, a doctoral student at the University of Cambridge, wrote in an email. “In my view, the best estimate for quantum factoring is still [Craig] Gidney and [Martin] Ekerå from 2020, who estimate that factoring RSA-2048 would need 20 million physical qubits and 8 hours. If Fujitsu's result drops the physical qubit count from 20 million to 10,000, that's a huge breakthrough; if instead they need 10,000 logical qubits, then that's much more than Gidney and Ekerå so I would need to check carefully to see why.”
Update: In an email sent after this post went live, one of the Fujitsu researchers, Tetsuya Izu, senior director of data & security research, wrote:
During the trials, we used a Shor’s algorithm and created a program to generate quantum circuits. As a next step, we used this program to generate quantum circuits for composite numbers of 9 bits and smaller, and checked genuine operations (integer factorization). We then evaluated the necessary computational resources of the above mentioned quantum circuits and made estimations for the case of integer factorization of 2,048 bits composite numbers. For this reason, our estimation also uses logical qubits. We are still finalizing the research paper and unfortunately cannot provide it today. We will share the paper with you as soon as it is available.
That leads us back to the Enigma Conference and Garfinkel, who, like Jaques, said the Gidney and Ekerå findings are the best-known estimate for the breaking of RSA. Asked to respond to the oft-repeated statement that humanity is at the precipice of a large quantum computer, Garfinkel responded:
“If by large-scale you mean something that’s big enough to crack an RSA key, what do you mean humanity is on the precipice? In geological time we certainly are. In terms of the duration of the republic, sure. But in our lifetimes?”
Even when the day comes that there’s a quantum computer with the power envisioned by Gidney and Ekerå, the notion that RSA will fall in one stroke is misleading. That’s because it would take this 20 million-qubit quantum system eight hours in constant superposition to crack a single encryption key. That would certainly be catastrophic since someone might be able to use the capability to cryptographically sign malicious updates with a Microsoft or Apple key and distribute them to millions of people.
But even then, the scenario that nation-states are storing all encrypted communications in a database and will decrypt them all in bulk once a quantum computer becomes available is unrealistic, given the number of keys and the resources required to crack them all.Over the past five years, the National Institute of Standards and Technology has run a search for new cryptographic algorithms that aren’t vulnerable to Shor’s algorithm. The process is far from finished. Last year, a candidate that had made it to the fourth round was taken out of the running after it fell to an attack that used only classical computing.
Once a post-quantum replacement is named, Garfinkel warned, “There’s going to be this mad rush to sell new things to the government so the government can immediately adopt these new algorithms. There’s just so much money to be made selling things to the government.”
Despite his insistence that the world is still decades away from being able to crack an RSA key, Garfinkel left himself wiggle room. At the same time, he said too many people focus on the risk posed by Shor’s algorithm without considering the possibility that RSA could just as easily fall from other factorization attacks posed by classical computers.
“If I was at CISA [Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency], I wouldn’t feel the need to say, ‘Don’t worry, it’s decades away’ only to risk the entire security of the United States,” he said. “But maybe we shouldn’t be moving to just post-quantum algorithms. Maybe we should be using the post-quantum algorithms and RSA in parallel because there might be a problem with the post-quantum algorithms.”
DRIVING TESTERS RAISED concerns they were being put at risk after the Road Safety Authority (RSA) changed rules to allow cars without a valid NCT to be used during a driving test.
The RSA temporarily relaxed rules around the obligation to have an up-to-date NCT because of long delays for motorists in getting an appointment to have their cars checked.
However, a union representing driver testers said the proposed changes presented a “serious health and safety concern” for their members.
In one email last October, they said they needed much more detail on what was being planned saying “the priority must be the health and safety of testers”.
In later correspondence with the RSA in November, a Fórsa representative said they continued to be worried about the “potential risk” to driver testers from non-NCT’d cars.
A letter said: “Fórsa are advising our driver tester members to adhere to the RSA protocol that all vehicles presented for a driving test must display a valid NCT disk.
“RSA circulars set out the position on the necessity to have a valid NCT disk. This is a serious health and safety concern for Fórsa and our Fórsa driver tester members.”
In response, the RSA said the union could rest assured that the “health and safety” of staff members was a “key factor” in any decision-making process.
An updated internal risk register said the changes were being made because of significant delays for motorists in getting an NCT test.
It said they had been told by Gardaí that they would not be penalising drivers who did not have a current valid NCT disc while Insurance Ireland were also taking this “pragmatic and understanding approach”.
The RSA said they would adapt the same position but that it would only cover cars where the NCT was less than three months out of date.
The risk register said the chances of a car not being roadworthy at the time of a test was an “unknown” anyway depending on when the NCT had taken place.
The risk register said: “In the case of a vehicle with a valid NCT disc which may be reaching the expiry date, this means that the roadworthiness test was conducted almost one or two years ago, so an element of risk of vehicle roadworthiness still prevails and is unknown at the time of test.”
It said staff could continue to rely on visual inspections of the vehicle prior to testing to assess any sign of malfunction including suspension failure, fumes in the cabin, loss of power, or other obvious issues.
“If a defect is identified, the test will not proceed,” said the risk register. It said testers could also check the NCT app to be sure the three-month window had not passed.
However, the risk register concluded that there remained a “medium” risk from the proposed changes in the event of injury during a road traffic accident.
In correspondence with Fórsa, the RSA also made assurances they were doing everything they could to cut NCT waiting times.
They said: “[We] continue on a weekly basis to have calls with [the NCT provider] to ensure there is no loss of momentum in getting our services back to the service levels agreed.”
A spokesman for the Road Safety Authority said there was a responsibility on motorists to ensure their car was always in roadworthy condition when driving.
He said: “At the start of a driving test, as part of the insurance declaration, all candidates are required to formally to confirm that their vehicle is in a roadworthy condition before the driving test can commence.
“Driver testers also conduct visual inspections before the driving test to check lights, indicators, brake lights etc. The policy only allows for an NCT certificate that has expired within three months of the driving test date and the candidate must show evidence of an imminent NCT test appointment.”
Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster has called on the Tánaiste to address the ongoing backlog for NCT tests in the Drogheda area.
peaking in the Dáil Deputy Munster said “This government says that the average waiting time for an NCT test should be 12 Days.
“In reality, 60% of NCT centres have no test appointment available within the next five months.”
“As of last week, nine testing sites had no appointment available until August, and Drogheda is one of them.
“I raised the waiting time for an NCT test in the Drogheda testing centre last year when the wait time for an NCT test was 6 months and now that has stretched out even further to 7 months”
“It’s worse it’s getting instead of improving,” she said.
“Because of the long wait times peoples’ certificates of road worthiness are going out of date. A constituent called me recently who booked her NCT in Drogheda on October 30th last year and her test is set for 29 May 2023.”
“She is worried because her insurance company told her that she is not fully covered for every scenario without her NCT.
“She and everyone else who is left without a certificate of road worthiness because of these long waiting times are at risk of getting a €60 fine and 3 penalty points on their licence.
“And to add insult to injury the RSA admitted that no customers have been given a free test despite a promise in the NCT Customer Charter.
“I’ve stated it loud and clear, on the record, that all NCT Centres but especially Drogheda and the others that have a 7-month waiting time need to be given the resources to clear the backlog”
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