New “unbreakable” security system could make communications air-tight

There has been a revolutionary breakthrough in information security that could protect our communication networks in the near future. A new computer chip is able to overcome the threat that the rise of quantum computers may pose.
Information Security
Three institutions have combined to introduce a device that can’t be unlocked by infiltrators. Photo: University of St Andrews

With tech firms seeing success in developing prototypes in quantum computing, there are growing concerns that they may be able to hack into communication systems in the coming decade.

International program

However, researchers at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), the University of St Andrews, and the Center for Unconventional Processes of Sciences (CUP Sciences) have developed a system that will be able to counter against this.

EurekAlert reports that this silicon chip enables users to send information to each other using an uncrackable method. Furthermore, the system uses communication methods that are already in use, allowing for less space to be taken up on the networks.

Kaust University
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology is based in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia. Photo: KAUST

How does it work?

Information is sent using a one-time-key that can’t be recreated or intercepted. The researchers published their results in a scientific journal titled Nature Communications. Ultimately, they hope that this technology can be used to provide “perfect secrecy” during a time when reports of cyberattacks are soaring.

“This new technique is absolutely unbreakable, as we rigorously demonstrated in our article,” Professor Andrea di Falco of the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of St. Andrews and first author of the study said, as reported by EurekAlert.

“It can be used to protect the confidentiality of communications exchanged by users separated by any distance, at an ultrafast speed close to the light limit and in inexpensive and electronic compatible optical chips,”

University of St Andrews
The Scotland-based University of St Andrews has been conducting academic research for 600 years. Photo: University of St Andrews

Just in time

Currently, information can be sent quickly by using standard cryptographic processes. However, these will be able to be broken using quantum technology. However, the new encryption method is un-hackable, according to the group.

“With the advent of more powerful and quantum computers, all current encryptions will be broken in a very short time, exposing the privacy of our present and, more importantly, past communications,” Dr. Andrea Fratalocchi, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at KAUST shared, as per the report.

“For instance, an attacker can store an encrypted message that is sent today and wait for the right technology to become available to decipher the communication,”

Dr. Aluizio M Cruz, CEO of CUP Sciences spoke about the ability of the device. She hopes that this chip can be the most practical solution to combat global security threats. Altogether, we are becoming more reliant on digital communication. Although, at the same time, hackers are finding more ways to breach the information that’s sent.

Universal interest

Last week, we reported that New Orleans declared a state of emergency due to attacks on its software. Nonetheless, it’s not just big institutions that are under threat. Business systems, personal devices, vehicles, and medical data are all at risk. Therefore, revolutions such as this chip are more than welcome as a new decade of technological breakthroughs approaches.

What are your thoughts on the innovation behind this chip? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

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