Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Position-based quantum cryptography: New method for securing location-sensitive data

Date:
July 26, 2010
Source:
University of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
Computer scientists have proved that cryptography, the practice and study of hiding information, based solely on location is possible by using quantum mechanics. This allows one to encrypt and decrypt data without pre-sharing any cryptographic keys that can be used to lock and unlock sensitive information. The idea behind location-based cryptography is that only a recipient at a precise geographic location can receive an encrypted message.

A research group led by computer scientists at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science has proved that cryptography -- the practice and study of hiding information -- that is based solely on physical location is possible by using quantum mechanics.

Such a method, the researchers say, allows one to encrypt and decrypt data at a secure location without pre-sharing any cryptographic keys that can be used to lock or unlock sensitive information.

The idea behind location-based cryptography is that only a recipient at a precise geographic location can receive an encrypted message -- the location itself acts as the credential required for generating an encryption key.

This type of cryptography could be useful in several settings. For example, one could communicate with a military base with a guarantee that only someone physically present at the base will have access to the information. Furthermore, the location-based method eliminates the need for distributing and storing keys, one of the most difficult tasks in cryptography.

A central tool in location-based cryptography is secure location verification, which is a method for verifying the geographical position of a device in a secure manner, according to Rafail Ostrovsky, a UCLA professor of computer science and mathematics.

"Securely proving a location where such a proof cannot be spoofed, and securely communicating only to a device in a particular location and nowhere else is extremely important," Ostrovsky said. "Often, the location of a device determines its credentials. Our recent paper shows how our method allows one to securely communicate to a device only in a particular location and without any other assumptions regarding prior interaction with the device at this location."

The strategy, outlined in a new research paper, was recently accepted to the highest-rated theoretical computer science peer-review conference, the 2010 IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science.

According to Ostrovsky, the problem of secure positioning has been widely studied by the wireless security community. It was assumed that the classical approach, based on triangulation, offered a secure solution. However, last year, a research group led by Ostrovsky proved that this approach cannot offer security against a coalition of dishonest persons that actively try to break the scheme, thereby breaking all known classical location verification systems.

Surprisingly, with the help of quantum mechanics, the task of location verification can be done in a secure way, even in the presence of colluding adversaries, the researchers say.

The research group has recently shown that if one sends quantum bits -- the quantum equivalent of a bit -- instead of only classical bits, a secure protocol can be obtained such that the location of a device cannot be spoofed. This, in turn, leads to a key-exchange protocol based solely on location.

The core idea behind the protocol is the "no-cloning" principle of quantum mechanics. By making a device give the responses of random challenges to several verifiers, the protocol ensures that multiple colluding devices cannot falsely prove any location. This is because an adversarial device can either store the quantum state of the challenge or send it to a colluding adversary, but not both.

The proposed method does not require any involved quantum computation other than creating and measuring quantum bits, which could be implemented with existing technology.

The research group includes Ostrovsky; UCLA computer science Ph.D. students Nishanth Chandran and Ran Gelles; scientific staff member Serge Fehr, of Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in the Netherlands; and Vipul Goyal of Microsoft Research, India.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Los Angeles. The original article was written by Matthew Chin and Wileen Wong Kromhout. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nishanth Chandran, Serge Fehr, Ran Gelles, Vipul Goyal, Rafail Ostrovsky. Position-Based Quantum Cryptography. arXiv, Submitted for publication on April 7, 2010 [link]

Cite This Page:

University of California - Los Angeles. "Position-based quantum cryptography: New method for securing location-sensitive data." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100726162123.htm>.
University of California - Los Angeles. (2010, July 26). Position-based quantum cryptography: New method for securing location-sensitive data. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100726162123.htm
University of California - Los Angeles. "Position-based quantum cryptography: New method for securing location-sensitive data." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100726162123.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Teen's Phone Ignites Under Her Pillow; How Real Is The Risk?

Teen's Phone Ignites Under Her Pillow; How Real Is The Risk?

Newsy (July 28, 2014) A Texas teen's Samsung phone apparently ignited while she slept, but what was the real problem here? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cellphone Unlocking Bill Clears U.S. House, Heads to Obama

Cellphone Unlocking Bill Clears U.S. House, Heads to Obama

Reuters - US Online Video (July 27, 2014) Congress gets rid of pesky law that made it illegal to "unlock" mobile phones without permission, giving consumers the option to use the same phone on a competitor's wireless network. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Congress OKs Unlocking Phones From Carriers

Congress OKs Unlocking Phones From Carriers

Newsy (July 26, 2014) A bill legalizing "unlocking," or untethering a phone from its default wireless carrier, has passed Congress and is expected to be signed into law. 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