Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Police Woman Fights Quantum Hacking And Cracking

Date:
August 13, 2009
Source:
Tel Aviv University
Summary:
Computer scientists are working to prevent quantum computers from compromising today's online security.

The first desktop computers changed the way we managed data forever. Three decades after their introduction, we rely on them to manage our time, social life and finances — and to keep this information safe from prying eyes and online predators.

So far, so good, despite an occasional breach. But our security and our data could be compromised overnight when the first quantum computer is built, says Dr. Julia Kempe of Tel Aviv University's Blavatnik School of Computer Science. These new computers, still in the theoretical stage, will be many times more powerful than the computers that protect our data now.

Laying the groundwork to keep governments, companies and individuals safe, Dr. Kempe is working to understand the power of quantum computers by designing algorithms that fit them. At the same time, she is figuring out the limits of quantum computers, something especially important so we can build safety systems against quantum hackers.

"If a very rich person worked secretly to fund the building of a quantum computer, there is no reason in principle that it couldn't be used for malevolent power within the next decade," she says. "Governments, large corporations, entrepreneurs and common everyday people will have no ability to protect themselves. So we have to plan ahead."

What quanta can't do

"If we know what quantum computers will not be able to do, we can find 'windows' of protection for data," says Dr. Kempe, who is working on future programs that could keep data in quantum computers safe. Dr. Kempe recently published papers in Computational Complexity, the SIAM Journal on Computing and Communications in Mathematical Physics.

Quantum mechanics allows a computer built on these principles, a so-called quantum computer, to perform tasks that are currently thought impossible to do efficiently on a normal computer, such as breaking current encryption standards.

Adding it all up

Although the most powerful quantum computer today barely has the computational capacity of a 4-bit calculator, it's just a matter of time until they are as powerful as physicists and mathematicians suspect they can be, Dr. Kempe says.

Today's computer operates by manipulating 0s and 1s — that is, a piece of data can be in one state or the other, but cannot be in both states simultaneously. In quantum computing, however, photons can be in the states 0 and 1 at the same time. This will give people and institutions phenomenally more computing power, but at the same time leave their data held in binary computers vulnerable to attack.

"Today if you use a credit card it's encrypted. No matter who intercepts the data it would take forever to decode the numbers — even if all the computers we have today were wired together for the job," Dr. Kempe explains. A quantum computer, however, could crack the code quickly and efficiently.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Tel Aviv University. "Police Woman Fights Quantum Hacking And Cracking." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090730121212.htm>.
Tel Aviv University. (2009, August 13). Police Woman Fights Quantum Hacking And Cracking. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090730121212.htm
Tel Aviv University. "Police Woman Fights Quantum Hacking And Cracking." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090730121212.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet

High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) The future of Aereo, an online service that provides over-the-air TV channels, hinges on a battle with broadcasters that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Aereo Takes on Broadcast TV Titans in Supreme Court Today

Aereo Takes on Broadcast TV Titans in Supreme Court Today

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) Aereo heads to the Supreme Court today to fight for its right to stream broadcast TV over the Internet -- against broadcasters who say the start-up infringes upon copyright law. TheStreet Deputy Managing Editor Leon Lazaroff explains the importance of the case in the TV industry and details what the outcome of it could mean for broadcasters and for cloud storage services -- as Aereo allows its subscribers to not just watch live TV shows but also store content to a DVR in the cloud. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lytro Introduces 'Illum,' A Professional Light-Field Camera

Lytro Introduces 'Illum,' A Professional Light-Field Camera

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) The light-field photography engineers at Lytro unveiled their next innovation: a professional DSLR-like camera called "Illum." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Netflix To Raise Prices For New Subscribers

Netflix To Raise Prices For New Subscribers

Newsy (Apr. 21, 2014) Netflix executives say they don't think a $1 or $2 price hike will hurt the service, and they have their sites set on overtaking HBO. 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