Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

First quantum cryptographic data network demonstrated

30.08.2006
A joint collaboration between Northwestern University and BBN Technologies of Cambridge, Mass., has led to the first demonstration of a truly quantum cryptographic data network. By integrating quantum noise protected data encryption (quantum data encryption or QDE for short) with Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), the researchers have developed a complete data communication system with extraordinary resilience to eavesdropping.

"The volume and type of sensitive information being transmitted over data networks continues to grow at a remarkable pace," said Prem Kumar, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Northwestern's Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and co-principal investigator on the project. "New cryptographic methods are needed to continue ensuring that the privacy and safety of each user's information is secure."

Kumar's research team recently demonstrated a new way of encrypting data that relies on both traditional algorithms and on physical principles. This QDE method, called AlphaEta, makes use of the inherent and irreducible quantum noise in laser light to enhance the security of the system and makes eavesdropping much more difficult. Unlike most other physical encryption methods, AlphaEta maintains performance on par with traditional optical communications links and is compatible with standard fiber optical networks.

The Northwestern researchers have previously carried out several demonstrations of the compatibility and reach of the AlphaEta system in conventional wave-division multiplexed optical networks. However, in all these tests the communicating parties, called Alice and Bob, had pre-shared encryption keys for use in the AlphaEta system.

Quantum Key Distribution exploits the unique properties of quantum mechanics to securely distribute electronic keys between two parties. Unlike traditional key distribution, the security of QKD can in theory provide quantitatively secure keys regardless of advances in technology. Typically, these ultra-secure keys would be used in traditional encryption algorithms to allow for high-speed encrypted communications.

BBN has built and demonstrated the world's first quantum network with untrusted network switches, delivering end-to-end key distribution via high-speed QKD since 2004. With the Boston Metro QKD network running 24/7, it is evident that quantum cryptography works in practice and may provide a technique for building highly secure networks.

In the present advance reported here, the QKD and the QDE technologies have been interfaced together. This integration of BBN's QKD system, which constantly provides refreshed ultra-secure encryption keys, with Northwestern's AlphaEta encryption system forms a truly quantum cryptographic data network.

The combined QKD/AlphaEta system has been demonstrated in a nine kilometer link between BBN headquarters and Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. The AlphaEta encrypted signal carried OC-3 (155Mb/s) SONET data between the two nodes. A fresh encryption key of about 1 kilobit was repetitively loaded every three seconds. In a separate test, the AlphaEta encrypted signal was looped back multiple times to create an effective 36 kilometer link where more than 300 consecutive key exchanges were demonstrated.

"As secure communications require both secure key distribution and strong encryption mechanisms, the combined QKD/AlphaEta system represents the state-of-the-art in ultra-secure high-speed optical communications," said Henry Yeh, director of programs at BBN Technologies.

Megan Fellman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.northwestern.edu

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht New Technologies for A/V Analysis and Search
13.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

nachricht On patrol in social networks
25.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Corporate coworking as a driver of innovation

22.11.2017 | Business and Finance

PPPL scientists deliver new high-resolution diagnostic to national laser facility

22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Quantum optics allows us to abandon expensive lasers in spectroscopy

22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>