NASA is using quantum physics to make the internet hack-proof

Tech in Asia introduces the 'Quantum Internet'

One hack of a job

Taha Effendi
From ransomware and Trojans to faceless hackers and "two-faced" malware, the malicious nature of cyber threats continues to evolve at the same pace as breakthroughs in cybersecurity. Today, hackers have the means to pull off highly sophisticated cyber attacks that can take down businesses, take governments hostage, or even take down a huge swath of the web!

This rapidly evolving data security landscape has pushed governments (and businesses) into a virtual arms race, prompting hackers to do research and development on more efficient cyber security technologies.

And it seems all their efforts have paid off.

Scientists at NASA have developed what could be hailed as the Shield of Aegis of the digital multiverse — a breakthrough technology that, quite surprisingly, comes from the realm of Quantum Physics. According to a recently published research paper by Nature Photonics, scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab have successfully set up the first ultra-secure hack-proof "Quantum Internet".

When we look at traditional encryption, the strength of a key is measured by the number of digital bits it uses. 

At the other end of this digital spectrum is the concept of Quantum Internet, which uses cryptography that is based on the intrinsically random nature of quantum mechanics. By generating a digital key based on a random set of numbers, quantum internet ensures that the key is practically impossible to crack.

NASA is using quantum physics to make the internet hack-proof

Scientists at NASA achieved this breakthrough by firing a photon laser through a metropolitan fibre cable network that causes the photons in the laser to entangle. While the phenomenon has been routinely simulated in lab settings, this is the first time that the experiment was successfully executed over a long distance of six kilometre, within an actual city (Calgary).
This is an excerpt from Tech in Asia. You can read the full article here

First Published: Nov 25 2016 | 4:06 PM IST

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