Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hackers beware! New technique uses photons, physics to foil codebreakers

23.02.2006


Quantum cryptography allows transmission of data through fibre optic cable´s

For governments and corporations in the business of transmitting sensitive data such as banking records or personal information over fibre optic cables, a new system demonstrated by University of Toronto researchers offers the protective equivalent of a fire-breathing dragon.

“Quantum cryptography is trying to make all transmissions secure, so this could be very useful for online banking, for example,” says Professor Hoi-Kwong Lo, an expert in physics and electrical and computer engineering at U of T’s Centre for Quantum Information and Quantum Control and the senior author of a new study about the technique. “The idea can be implemented now, because we actually did the experiment with a commercial device.”



The study describes the first experimental proof of a quantum decoy technique to encrypt data over fibre optic cable. In quantum cryptography, laser light particles (photons) carry complex encryption keys through fibre optic cables, dramatically increasing the security of transmitted data. Conventional encryption is based on the assumed complexity of mathematical problems that traditional computers can solve. But quantum cryptography is based on fundamental laws of physics — specifically, Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, which tells us that merely observing a quantum object alters it.

The technique varies the intensity of photons and introduces photonic “decoys,” which were transmitted over a 15-kilometre telecommunication fibre. After the signals are sent, a second broadcast tells the receiving computer which photons carried the signal and which were decoys. If a hacker tries to “eavesdrop” on the data stream to figure out the encryption key, the mere act of eavesdropping changes the decoys — a clear sign to the receiving computer that the data has been tampered with.

The study appears in the Feb. 24 issue of Physical Review Letters and was funded by Connaught, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canada Research Chairs program, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, id Quantique, the Ontario Innovation Trust, a Premier’s Research Excellence Award, the Canadian Institute for Photonics Innovations, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and the University of Toronto.

Contact:

Hoi-Kwong Lo, Centre for Quantum Information and Quantum Control, University of Toronto; e-mail: hklo@comm.utoronto.ca, 416-946-5525

Nicolle Wahl | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utoronto.ca

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Researchers discover link between magnetic field strength and temperature
21.08.2018 | American Institute of Physics

nachricht Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte
17.08.2018 | Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Air pollution leads to cardiovascular diseases

21.08.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Researchers target protein that protects bacteria's DNA 'recipes'

21.08.2018 | Life Sciences

A paper battery powered by bacteria

21.08.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>