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article imageQuantum encryption moves one step closer

By Tim Sandle     Nov 24, 2017 in Science
High-speed quantum encryption may help secure the future Internet, according to new research. Here the same strange properties that drive quantum computers could be use to create hack-proof forms of data encryption.
The new research is centered on quantum encryption and the Duke University suggests that this hyper-secure mechanism could be one step closer to wide-scale use. Researchers have come up with a system that is capable of distributing encryption codes at megabit-per-second rates. These are rates up to ten times faster than existing methods. Theoretically this would leave the Internet free from the types of common security attacks that plague systems today.
Commenting on the research to date, lead investigator Professor Daniel Gauthier has said: "We are now likely to have a functioning quantum computer that might be able to start breaking the existing cryptographic codes in the near future. We really need to be thinking hard now of different techniques that we could use for trying to secure the Internet."
This would mean, for the hacker, that all Internet transactions and personal information would appear indecipherable gibberish. This is due to ciphers called encryption keys. The quantum system would ensure that all such information is first scrambled. It can then be unscrambled by the receiver, using a special key.
Hence for the system to function, both parties need to have access to the same key. The developed research of quantum key distribution makes this secure through quantum mechanics. Here keys would be based on small bits of matter like electrons or photons, which can automatically changes their properties. This happens by adjusting the time at which the photon is released.
Moreover, the system would ensure that both parties would be alerted to any security breach. The rapidity is a consequence, over previous quantum models, of packing more information onto each photon, which makes the technique faster and far more secure.
The new research has been published in the journal Science Advances, with the peer reviewed paper titled "Provably Secure and High-Rate Quantum Key Distribution With Time-Bin Qudits."
In related news, Digital Journal has reported that quantum physicists have devised a protocol for the transfer of quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, including processors and memories.
More about quantum computing, Encryption, Quantum encryption
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