Home > Privacy, Security > A Quantum Leap in Cryptography A Quantum Leap in Cryptography Eugenia Loli 2003-07-16 Privacy, Security 7 Comments Visionaries are using photons to develop data-security systems that may prove the ultimate defense against eavesdropping hackers. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 7 Comments 2003-07-16 7:15 pm isn’t this basicly fiber optic technology? you can’t eaves drop on a fiber line for phones unless you physicly plug into it. same for this? 2003-07-16 7:54 pm While this technique also can use fiber optic lines there is an added security bonus that standard optical techniques don’t have. That is, researchers here use either the small number of emitted photons, or entangled photons to prevent any eavedroppers from decoding the signal without destroying the signal. In other words, to listen in on this line, you must be the only listener, thereby notifying whoever was supposed to read the signal that something is wrong. These techniques can also be used in open air by use of lasers. 2003-07-16 8:14 pm “you can’t eaves drop on a fiber line for phones unless you physicly plug into it. same for this?” Well, that’s not the point. The point is, if you do eavesdrop, your intrusion will inevitably be detected due to the errors you’ll introduce into the transmission and detection process. I did my master thesis on this topic 🙂 I was researching the feasilility of eavesdropping on some types of fiber-optic quantum cryptography systems using parasite reflections, and possible counter measures… 2003-07-17 1:09 pm Prefacing with…. quantum physics is not my bag… Assuming you can get your tap in undetected…. there would appear to be two methods garnering information undetected. 1) MiTM – you become the endpoint and reproduce the captured photon with the same angle as the one received. 2) Applied force – if you know the impact you have on the photon (determined in a replica environment), calculate the applied force required to “right” the photon. 2003-07-17 1:55 pm This seems to be only proof against eavesdropping while data is in transit. This is NOT the most vulnerable point in a computing system. The target of hackers that know their stuff is the host computers themselves by any and all means necesary and stealthy. An operational computer with it’s data visible, even if on-disk data is encrypted, is still completely vulnerable. If this is meant to reasure people of computing security in the future, it fails. However, if it’s meant to assure people of reasonably secure communications over telephones, cell phones, and other communications venues, it does seem a well thought out approach. I will point out that encryption technologies, no matter how novel and “unbreakable” still have a finite lifetime. This is no more the “ultimate” tool than the Enigma machine was in World War 2. It’s simply the best that current science can offer at this point in time. 2003-07-17 5:43 pm I will point out that encryption technologies, no matter how novel and “unbreakable” still have a finite lifetime. This is no more the “ultimate” tool than the Enigma machine was in World War 2. It’s simply the best that current science can offer at this point in time. Provided the pad never falls into the hands of the enemy, OTP is unbreakable. 2003-07-17 9:31 pm 1) Man in the middle attack is slightly another topic, namely, the question of of authentication. 2) You can’t, unless you are a real MiTM and hence reproducing the whole communication, including classical one.