Quantum communication systems offer the promise of virtually unbreakable encryption.
Unlike classical encryption, which is used to send secure data over networks today and whose security depends on the difficulty of solving mathematical problems like the factoring of large numbers, most quantum encryption schemes keep the encryption key separate from the data. This approach ensures that an eavesdropper with access only to the data could not decipher the key. However, researchers have recently demonstrated that even quantum encryption may be susceptible to hacking.
In a presentation next month at the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO: 2013) in San Jose, Calif., Renato Renner of the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Zurich will discuss how he and his team of theoretical physicists are working on new ways to calculate the failure probability of certain quantum encryption schemes. The numbers would allow users to estimate how likely it would be that an adversary could read their secret messages—information that is critical for ensuring the overall security of quantum communications.
Quantum key distribution (QKD) is a kind of quantum encryption in which a secret password is shared between two distant parties (usually named Alice and Bob in thought experiments). The secret password, or key, is distributed as bits of quantum data, so that if an eavesdropper (usually named Eve) tries to intercept the message, the bits will be disturbed and Alice and Bob will know the transmission has been compromised. If the key is not disturbed, it can be used to encode messages that are sent over an insecure channel.
“The security of Quantum Key Distribution systems is never absolute,” says Renner. He notes that the security of QKD systems depends on three assumptions: the initial secrecy of the password, the correctness and completeness of quantum theory, and the reliability of the devices in the quantum communication system.
Recent work by other research groups has illustrated how real-world devices that are not 100 percent reliable can leave weaknesses in quantum communication schemes that may be exploited by a clever hacker. For example, the photon detectors used in QKD should click with a certain probability whenever a photon is detected, but in practice the devices can be “blinded” by a strong light pulse and not click. “In fact, an adversary may use strong light pulses to ‘remotely control’ the detector,” says Renner.
Since such bright light hacking techniques were first demonstrated in 2010, physicists have been keen to find ways to calculate the security of quantum encryption schemes without making assumptions about the reliability of the devices. The quest has generated a lot of interest in a field called device-independent cryptography.
The Latest Bing News on:
- Quantum Announces Closing of Private Placementon January 17, 2021 at 1:17 am
Quantum Numbers Corp. (“Quantum” or the “Corporation”) (TSX-V: QNC) is pleased to announce that it has closed a non-brokered private placement by issuing a total of 40,000,000 units (the “Units”) at ...
- Quantum Cryptography Market Key Drivers, Industry Share and Future Growth Demand Analysis by 2026on January 14, 2021 at 4:52 pm
Improving network infrastructure backed by increasing demand for 5G network is anticipated to drive the global ...
- Quantum Entanglement of Electrons Using Heaton January 10, 2021 at 9:11 am
Quantum entanglement is key for next-generation computing and communications technology, Aalto researchers can now produce it using temperature differences. A joint group of scientists from Finland, ...
- Three Practical Steps To Prepare Your Business For The Quantum Threaton January 8, 2021 at 4:00 am
Chances are you’ve been hearing more and more about quantum computing. In the last year alone, the U.S. government has pledged to commit more than $1 billion in funds and awards to quantum information ...
- Cryptography Research Centre in Abu Dhabi and Yale University to research post-quantum cryptographyon January 7, 2021 at 6:12 pm
Technology Innovation Institute’s Cryptography Research Centre in Abu Dhabi collaborates with Yale University.
- Quantum cryptography network spans 4600 km in Chinaon January 7, 2021 at 10:20 am
Quantum light: a 2000::km fibre optic network enables quantum key cryptography between four cities in China. (Courtesy: iStock/MorePixels) A network for quantum key distribution (QKD) spanning ...
- How quantum computing will create opportunities for improved cybersecurity?on January 7, 2021 at 5:37 am
Advances of quantum computing promise to transform cybersecurity. Integrating the quantum cybersecurity approach can thwart uncertainties in the development of quantum computers.
- China Telecom launches quantum encrypted phone calls on smartphones in a new pilot programmeon January 7, 2021 at 1:13 am
With a special SIM card and app, some China Telecom smartphone users in Anhui province can make phone calls protected by quantum encryption, which could tip people off to potential eavesdroppers.
- Abu Dhabi, Yale University to pioneer breakthroughs in post-quantum cryptographyon January 7, 2021 at 12:51 am
The partnership between Abu Dhabi TII and Yale University also aims to enable a knowledge-driven ecosystem in the UAE ...
- UAE’s Cryptography Research Centre Collaborates with Yale on Post-quantum Cryptography, Neuromorphic Computingon January 6, 2021 at 12:28 pm
Abu Dhabi and the UAE are working to pioneer breakthroughs in post-quantum cryptography and neuromorphic computing through an international partnership between Technology Innovation Institute’s (TII) ...
The Latest Google Headlines on:
The Latest Bing News on:
- William and Elizebeth Friedman and the NSA’s “Secrecy Virus”on January 5, 2021 at 4:00 pm
But the NSA struggled mightily to crack the seemingly unbreakable codes of communist ... that dominated the business of manufacturing encryption machines. Friedman proposed that Hagelin would ...
- What is AES encryption?on January 4, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Since Roman times, encryption has been essential in keeping communications between parties private and secure. Today, it forms the backbone of online security, helping to keep purchases and ...
- Debate Simmers over Digital Privacyon December 28, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Much as they would like to, Google, Apple, and other firms won’t be able to escape responsibility for how their technology is used simply by adding universal unbreakable encryption. These ...
- Policy-makers puzzle over ‘encryption’ conundrumon December 27, 2020 at 11:50 pm
Encryption is a mathematical system of scrambling data ... The abiding fear of law-enforcement agencies is that these unbreakable codes and ciphers will be used by organised crime gangs or terrorists.
- To QKD Or Not To QKD: What Quantum Key Distribution Means For Businesson December 18, 2020 at 7:01 am
On the other hand, quantum-based encryption is virtually unbreakable, even by a quantum computer. Two Opposing Quantum Viewpoints? The National Science Foundation, under the auspices of the ...
- The quest to build an unhackable quantum Interneton December 14, 2020 at 7:06 pm
Quantum technologies have the ability to create unbreakable codes ... Quantum computers have the ability to break encryption codes in seconds, putting the Internet at risk of being hacked.
- Service offers social media protection for enterpriseon December 4, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Sprague said that’s being worked on. Another is that Scrambls makes no promise that its encryption is unbreakable. It also says that because the transformations are applied on the client ...
- Rusty but intact: Nazi Enigma cipher machine found in Baltic Seaon December 4, 2020 at 12:37 pm
Divers scouring the Baltic Sea for discarded fishing nets have stumbled on the rarest of finds: an Enigma encryption machine used by the Nazis to encode secret messages during World War II.
- Why The Quantum Internet Could Change Everything, with David Awschalom (Ep. 53)on September 17, 2020 at 9:28 am
Imagine a new technology that could create unbreakable encryption, supercharge the development of AI, and radically expedite the development of drug treatments for everything from cancer to COVID-19.
- Morrison govt controversial encryption laws to be introduced to parliamenton March 4, 2020 at 11:01 am
A NOTE ABOUT RELEVANT ADVERTISING: We collect information about the content (including ads) you use across this site and use it to make both advertising and content more relevant to you on our ...