Creating chaos for data security
Within three years one of the most advanced data encryption systems developed to date could go into commercial use thanks to the work of OCCULT, and its gigantic strides forward in laser-based chaotic carriers to transmit data through fibre-optics.
The cutting-edge technique, which employs synchronised laser emitters and receivers to encrypt information at the hardware level, represents an important qualitative upgrade to existing security systems for protecting the transmission of data.
“Traditional systems rely on software encryption, which uses keys to code and decode information, but advances in computer processing speeds are putting data encrypted via this method at risk,” explains Claudio Mirasso, coordinator of the IST project OCCULT, at the University of the Balearic Islands in Spain. “Our idea therefore is to use hardware, i.e. the emitters and receivers of the information, to carry out the encryption, which can be used in combination with software encoding to create two levels of security.”
The technique researched and evaluated by the OCCULT project relies on having two sets of semiconductor lasers that are virtually identical to send and receive information over fibre-optic cables. The light transmitted by these lasers is non-linear and chaotic so only a receiver synchronised with the emitter can decode the data, making it almost impossible for the transmission to be decrypted by someone other than the intended recipient.
“Anyone wanting to break the encryption has to know as much as the people using it and have a virtually identical device,” Mirasso notes. “We’ve demonstrated that an extremely high level of security can be achieved because cracking the system would require adjusting 200 or 300 parameters.”
For high security transmissions the lasers would have to operate with a tolerance level of just 1 or 2 per cent, something that can only be achieved if they are made with the same equipment and the same components at the same time. “The lasers not only have to come from the same batch of semiconductors but literally be produced side-by-side because once you get further down the line the differences increase,” the project coordinator says. Having carried out laboratory evaluations of the system, the project partners are now looking to commence field trials, possibly under a new IST project.
Their continuing work could lead to an optical chaos encryption system being commercialised “in about three years,” Mirasso says, noting that the potential market is vast. “Because the technique can be used over existing fibre-optic cables, it would be relatively cheap to employ, with the only additional components being the emitter and receiver.”
Tara Morris | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...