Quantum cryptography could shed test for hackers | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.


News

Quantum cryptography could shed test for hackers

Added protection of proposed method makes eavesdropping nearly impossible

By
1:00pm, May 21, 2014

A proposed quantum encryption technique would ensure secure communication while removing the painstaking step of checking for potential eavesdroppers. The efficient approach could eventually form the basis of a secure quantum network for exchanging sensitive information.

Computer-generated encryption protects data such as credit card numbers, passwords and confidential communication from would-be snoopers. However, this encryption is breakable, and there’s no smoking-gun signal that someone has cracked the code. A hacker can steal information for a long time before anyone finds out.

In 1984, physicists Charles Bennett and Gilles Brassard proposed the first quantum cryptography protocol, a way to use quantum mechanics to create a guaranteed secure link. Their approach calls for a receiver to measure the delicate quantum properties of photons in laser pulses and compare notes with the sender to establish a secret key (

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from this issue of Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content