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Quantum based secure communication-Photonics in Cybersecurity

14-12-2020

Quantum based secure communication-Photonics in Cybersecurity

Author: Nikki Bulgarea, Ottawa

In the article "Quantum internet and the future of cybersecurity" by Chris Stokel-Walker that appeared on November 10, 2020 in Cyber news the author is presenting a definition of the Quantum communication systems.

"Quantum communication systems, which are often networked in a way similar to the internet, are more secure than regular networks because of the way they transfer data. They rely on the quantum properties of photons, rather than computer code. The impregnable photons are much more secure than computer code, which can easily be manipulated or exploited to find vulnerabilities."

Being based on Photons properties it is a Photonics technology, so how will it apply to Cybersecurity?

The same article states "Quantum internet connections should, in theory, offer unprecedented security and privacy. The photon that is used to communicate between different nodes on a network in theory cannot be intercepted and decoded easily without the correct information and encryption keys. However, that always relies on people keeping information safe."

In another article this month it was announced that "A research team from the University of Calgary has brought forth a quantum key distribution system (QKD). The group has banked on the efficiency of quantum communication and used it to create functional networks that are far more secure than the existing offerings. QKD is a new direction in creating new models of cyber security and it is a worthwhile addition to the encryption security models that currently exist."

The author is asking himself how this would work and states: "consider the existing RSA (Rivest Shamir Adlerman) encryption system for public security. The basis of this model is the presumed difficulty of factoring large integers. So, it can be said that this model of public key distribution is vulnerable to development in hardware and algorithms."  Compare this to QKD "Instead of banking on mathematical wizardry, it uses the simple principle that light carries photons. Photons are energy packets of light, and can be understood as its fundamental units. The encryption is done through a shared random secret key based on the exchange of photons between the two communicating parties."

What happens when "intrusions are made via fiber optic cable without the communicating parties being aware of the process. In such circumstances, laser light is used and the key distribution system becomes insecure."

"QKD has devised a clever method in creating a 'conduit' between the two communicating parties. None of the parties have the complete information about the photon based encryption but have a partial measurement. The conduit would perform a joint measurement of the participating photons from both parties. This creates an effective photon detection system. When a threat is detected, the conduit would break the joint measurement, rendering the key secure. Secondly, the users are informed of the threat."

This shows only some of the possibilities of Quantum based communication Photonics application in Cybersecurity.

 

Link: Quantum internet and the future of cybersecurity | CyberNews

Link: Quantum Based Secure Communication Offers Innovation In Cyber Security (inventorspot.com)