Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



CYBER WARS
Quantum computers help create hack-proof forms of data encryption
by Staff Writers
Durham NC (SPX) Nov 28, 2017


illustration only

Recent advances in quantum computers may soon give hackers access to machines powerful enough to crack even the toughest of standard internet security codes. With these codes broken, all of our online data - from medical records to bank transactions - could be vulnerable to attack.

To fight back against the future threat, researchers are wielding the same strange properties that drive quantum computers to create theoretically hack-proof forms of quantum data encryption.

And now, these quantum encryption techniques may be one step closer to wide-scale use thanks to a new system developed by scientists at Duke University, The Ohio State University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Their system is capable of creating and distributing encryption codes at megabit-per-second rates, which is five to 10 times faster than existing methods and on par with current internet speeds when running several systems in parallel.

The researchers demonstrate that the technique is secure from common attacks, even in the face of equipment flaws that could open up leaks.

"We are now likely to have a functioning quantum computer that might be able to start breaking the existing cryptographic codes in the near future," said Daniel Gauthier, a professor of physics at The Ohio State University. "We really need to be thinking hard now of different techniques that we could use for trying to secure the internet."

To a hacker, our online purchases, bank transactions and medical records all look like gibberish due to ciphers called encryption keys. Personal information sent over the web is first scrambled using one of these keys, and then unscrambled by the receiver using the same key.

For this system to work, both parties must have access to the same key, and it must be kept secret. Quantum key distribution (QKD) takes advantage of one of the fundamental properties of quantum mechanics - measuring tiny bits of matter like electrons or photons automatically changes their properties - to exchange keys in a way that immediately alerts both parties to the existence of a security breach.

Though QKD was first theorized in 1984 and implemented shortly thereafter, the technologies to support its wide-scale use are only now coming online. Companies in Europe now sell laser-based systems for QKD, and in a highly-publicized event last summer, China used a satellite to send a quantum key to two land-based stations located 1200 km apart.

The problem with many of these systems, said Nurul Taimur Islam, a graduate student in physics at Duke, is that they can only transmit keys at relatively low rates - between tens to hundreds of kilobits per second - which are too slow for most practical uses on the internet.

"At these rates, quantum-secure encryption systems cannot support some basic daily tasks, such as hosting an encrypted telephone call or video streaming," Islam said.

Like many QKD systems, Islam's key transmitter uses a weakened laser to encode information on individual photons of light. But they found a way to pack more information onto each photon, making their technique faster.

By adjusting the time at which the photon is released, and a property of the photon called the phase, their system can encode two bits of information per photon instead of one. This trick, paired with high-speed detectors developed by Clinton Cahall, graduate student in electrical and computer engineering, and Jungsang Kim, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke, powers their system to transmit keys five to 10 times faster than other methods.

"It was changing these additional properties of the photon that allowed us to almost double the secure key rate that we were able to obtain if we hadn't done that," said Gauthier, who began the work as a professor of physics at Duke before moving to OSU.

In a perfect world, QKD would be perfectly secure. Any attempt to hack a key exchange would leave errors on the transmission that could be easily spotted by the receiver. But real-world implementations of QKD require imperfect equipment, and these imperfections open up leaks that hackers can exploit.

The researchers carefully characterized the limitations of each piece of equipment they used. They then worked with Charles Lim, currently a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the National University of Singapore, to incorporate these experimental flaws into the theory.

"We wanted to identify every experimental flaw in the system, and include these flaws in the theory so that we could ensure our system is secure and there is no potential side-channel attack," Islam said.

Though their transmitter requires some specialty parts, all of the components are currently available commercially. Encryption keys encoded in photons of light can be sent over existing optical fiber lines that burrow under cities, making it relatively straightforward to integrate their transmitter and receiver into the current internet infrastructure.

"All of this equipment, apart from the single-photon detectors, exist in the telecommunications industry, and with some engineering we could probably fit the entire transmitter and receiver in a box as big as a computer CPU," Islam said.

Research Report: "Provably Secure and High-Rate Quantum Key Distribution With Time-Bin Qudits," Nurul T. Islam, Charles Ci Wen Lim, Clinton Cahall, Jungsang Kim and Daniel J. Gauthier. Science Advances, Nov. 24, 2017. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1701491

CYBER WARS
Skype joins list of apps on China blacklist
Shanghai (AFP) Nov 22, 2017
Skype has apparently joined the lengthening list of internet tools on China's blacklist, disappearing from download stores with Apple saying Wednesday it was ordered by the government to remove certain apps. Skype is no longer available for download from the Chinese Apple Store or popular Android sites, with Chinese web-users saying it had been gone for weeks. "We have been notified by t ... read more

Related Links
Duke University
Cyberwar - Internet Security News - Systems and Policy Issues


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

CYBER WARS
Russia test-fires new interceptor missile

US Scrambles to Assemble Space-Based Missile Defense System

Boeing meets 2017 ballistic missile defense installation goal early

Sweden picks US Patriot missile system over European rival

CYBER WARS
State Dept. approves potential Javelin missile sale to Georgia

State Dept. approves potential missile sale to Poland

Raytheon awarded contract for Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile program

Lockheed Martin to test AGM-158 JASSM

CYBER WARS
Pentagon steps up Somalia drone strikes

Lockheed Martin Integrates New Engine for Fury Unmanned Air Vehicle

Alpha Unmanned Systems teams with Sightec for image stabilization and object tracking.

Leonardo delivers Falco EVO drones to Middle East

CYBER WARS
US Navy accepts 5th MUOS Satellite for global military cellular network

SES GS Awarded US Government Satellite Solutions Contract

16th SPCS Defenders of critical satellite communications

First order for Elta ELK-1882T SATCOM network system

CYBER WARS
Marines roll out new anti-tank weapon system

Saab to supply South African forces with field kitchens

Raytheon, Saab to develop improved shoulder-launched weapon systems

MBDA Inc. to produce parts for Small Diameter Bomb

CYBER WARS
Congress sends $700 bn defense bill for Trump's signature

Lockheed, Navantia renew collaborative agreement

Philippines' Duterte receives Russian assault rifles

Whistleblower protection bill sent to President as complaints of retaliation grow

CYBER WARS
Australia calls for US engagement in region amid China rise

From Myanmar to Zimbabwe, China's global footprint grows

China forges 'strategic' ties with Djibouti after opening base

Forbidden City and Vatican try 'art diplomacy'

CYBER WARS
Ceria nanoparticles: It is the surface that matters

Semiconducting carbon nanotubes can reduce noise in interconnects

Manganese dioxide shows potential in micromotors

Promising sensors for submarines, mines and spacecraft




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement