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Quantum Cryptography Hailed to be Unbreakable  (Source: BBC News)
Quantum encryption uses photons to deliver encryption keys

Data security is paramount in today's sensitive business environments. Hackers today can get into networks that store financial data like bank accounts or credit card numbers and make off with millions in stolen property.

Encryption is used on most networks that store this sort of data, but encryption is not unbreakable. A new form of encryption has been introduced at a scientific conference in Vienna. According to BBC News, the new encryption method is called quantum cryptography and it's unbreakable.

A demonstration of the quantum cryptography system was performed on a network connecting six locations around Vienna. The locations were connected using standard fiber optic cable. The quantum cryptography was devised by Charles Bennett of IBM and Gilles Brassard of Montreal University.

The basis for the cryptographic system is described by Brassard, "All quantum security schemes are based on the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, on the fact that you cannot measure quantum information without disturbing it."

He continued telling BBC News, "Because of that, one can have a communications channel between two users on which it's impossible to eavesdrop without creating a disturbance. An eavesdropper would create a mark on it. That was the key idea."

The system sends faint beams of light containing single photons fired a million times per second from which a numerical key can be recovered. The advantage of the system is that if anyone eavesdrops on the communication between nodes the key is disturbed and the node shuts down. At the same time the hacked node shuts down the network is routed to another node to keep it running.

Two different methods are available to send the encryption key in the quantum system. One looks at the direction the photons are polarized and the other looks at the precise timing of the arrival of the photons. Any network using quantum cryptography put into use would have to be able to work with both types of encryption methods.

Dr. Hans Huebel from the Vienna University said, " We are constantly in touch with insurance companies and banks, and they say it's nearly better that they lose 10 million euros than if the system is down for two hours, because that might be more damaging for the bank. So that's what we have to prove, that we have a reliable system that delivers quantum keys for several weeks without interruption, and then they might be more interested."

DailyTech first reported on quantum computers for cryptography in August of 2007.

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RE: Unbreakable?
By Motoman on 10/9/2008 2:50:32 PM , Rating: 5
Because for something like Star Trek/Babylon 5/whatever to actually happen in the future, "smart" people will have had to won out over "stupid" people in order for the technology to progress to that point, and to have the vision to extend man's reach to the stars.

In other words, a geek pipe dream.

RE: Unbreakable?
By BladeVenom on 10/9/2008 2:57:16 PM , Rating: 5
While in actuality we are heading towards Idiocracy.

RE: Unbreakable?
By MamiyaOtaru on 10/9/08, Rating: -1
RE: Unbreakable?
By catavalon21 on 10/9/2008 8:13:39 PM , Rating: 5
RE: Unbreakable?
By derwin on 10/10/2008 12:47:22 AM , Rating: 2
Case in point...


RE: Unbreakable?
By Chernobyl68 on 10/10/2008 12:14:33 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Unbreakable?
By feraltoad on 10/13/2008 9:21:10 PM , Rating: 2
[Origin: 1350–1400; ME actualite < ML actualitas. See actual, -ity]

All he needs is a time machine! Go back to 13c ask any man on the street and they would say, "Witches! Wizards! Burn them! Stone them! Well, this isn't the Renaissance, now is it? Witches!...".

RE: Unbreakable?
By Solandri on 11/1/2008 5:53:46 AM , Rating: 2
I kinda feel bad for any time travelers from the future visiting us. They gather a crowd in the street and tell them that global warming is a hoax. "Corporate-sellouts! Burn them!". Or they gather a crowd in the street and tell them that global warming is the greatest threat we face. "Enviro-wackos! Burn them!"

Well, at least we don't actually burn people anymore, at least not in RL.

RE: Unbreakable?
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 10/14/2008 7:47:36 AM , Rating: 2
Sadly, "analyzation" is also a word according to Merriam Webster. The word wanted there is simply "analysis."

Language is always changed by the illiterate.

RE: Unbreakable?
By FITCamaro on 10/9/08, Rating: -1
RE: Unbreakable?
By Souka on 10/9/2008 7:45:12 PM , Rating: 3
Long as all the ambassadors are hotties... I"m in for that future... :)

RE: Unbreakable?
By Diesel Donkey on 10/10/2008 11:23:39 PM , Rating: 2
Oh yeah, that Ambassador Kosh was HOT!

RE: Unbreakable?
By Samus on 10/10/2008 9:49:50 AM , Rating: 2
I guess there is no Battlestar love here :)

RE: Unbreakable?
By Adonlude on 10/13/2008 4:42:15 PM , Rating: 2
Im sure many of us love Battlestar, myself included, but that is definately not a future anyone wants to wish upon mankind.

RE: Unbreakable?
By Major HooHaa on 10/28/2008 12:37:11 PM , Rating: 2
'Because for something like Star Trek/Babylon 5/whatever to actually happen in the future, "smart" people will have had to won out over "stupid" people in order for the technology to progress to that point, and to have the vision to extend man's reach to the stars.'

There is some truth in this, we all work together for a better future... Or we could just have another war.

Historically, advanced cultures have risen, over-reached themselves and then come crashing down with much of their knowledge being lost, only to be rediscovered and/or reinvented by some future (and therefore superior?) civilisation. We are still working out what was previously known by different, long dead civilisations and they continue to surprise us.

"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home
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