Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hackers Beware - New Technique Uses Photons, Physics To Foil Codebreakers

Date:
February 23, 2006
Source:
University of Toronto
Summary:
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.

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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Toronto. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Toronto. "Hackers Beware - New Technique Uses Photons, Physics To Foil Codebreakers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 February 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060223082741.htm>.
University of Toronto. (2006, February 23). Hackers Beware - New Technique Uses Photons, Physics To Foil Codebreakers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060223082741.htm
University of Toronto. "Hackers Beware - New Technique Uses Photons, Physics To Foil Codebreakers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060223082741.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Much Privacy Protection Will Google's Android L Provide?

How Much Privacy Protection Will Google's Android L Provide?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Google's local encryption will make it harder for law enforcement or malicious actors to access the contents of devices running Android L. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Several companies unveiled virtual reality headsets at the Tokyo Game Show, Asia's largest digital entertainment exhibition. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple's iOS8 Includes New 'Killswitch' To Curb Theft

Apple's iOS8 Includes New 'Killswitch' To Curb Theft

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple's new operating system, iOS 8, comes with Apple's killswitch feature already activated, unlike all the models before it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins