ECSE – CS Joint Seminar: Security of Quantum Computing Systems

Jakub Szefer
Associate Professor
Yale University
ECSE Topical Seminar
DCC 337
Fri, February 16, 2024 at 11:00 AM

Quantum computer device research continues to advance rapidly to improve size and fidelity of the quantum computers. In parallel, there is an increasing number of deployments of existing quantum computing systems which are being made available for use by researchers and general public through cloud-based services. In particular, more and more of the quantum computer systems are becoming available as cloud-based services thanks to IBM Quantum, Amazon Braket, Microsoft Azure, and other cloud providers. Ease of access makes these computers accessible to almost anybody and can help advance developments in algorithms, quantum programs, compilers, etc. However, open, cloud-based access may make these systems vulnerable to novel security threats that could affect operation of the quantum computers, or users using these devices. Further, as with any cloud-based computing system, users do not have physical control of the remote devices. Untrusted cloud providers, or malicious insiders within otherwise trusted cloud provider, also pose novel security threats. User’s programs could be stolen or manipulated, or output data could be leaked out. The goal of this seminar will be to introduce audience to recent research on security of quantum computing systems. During the seminar novel security attacks on quantum computing systems will be discussed, as well as corresponding defenses. The focus of the seminar will be on superconducting qubit quantum computers, however, the security ideas can be applied to other types of quantum computers.

Headshot of a white man with straight brown hair that falls in his eyes wearing a white collared shirt with a black sweater overtop on a white background

Prof. Jakub Szefer’s research focuses on computer architecture and hardware security. His research encompasses secure processor architectures, cloud security, FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) attacks and defenses, hardware FPGA implementation of cryptographic algorithms, and most recently quantum computer cybersecurity. Among others, Prof. Szefer is the author of first book focusing on processor architecture security: “Principles of Secure Processor Architecture Design”, published in 2018, and he is a co-editor of a book on “Security of FPGA-Accelerated Cloud Computing Environments”, published in 2023. He is recipient of awards such as NSF CAREER award, and is a senior member of IEEE (2019) and ACM (2022).