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Technology / Cybersecurity

Researchers develop new way to create cheaper hack proof network

Researchers Toshiba and Cambridge University have developed a new way of making fibre network unhackable by using quantum cryptography which claimed to eliminate the need of expensive dedicated optical fibre links.

Usually, dedicated fibre network is necessary for secure network to send the single photons (particles of light) that are required for Quantum Key Distribution (QKD).

The scientific breakthrough by researchers will allow use existing telecoms networks to distribute secret keys, reducing the price of using quantum cryptography in the process and avoid unnecessary snooping.

Toshiba Research Europe assistant managing director Dr Andrew Shields said the requirement of separate fibres has greatly restricted the applications of quantum cryptography in the past, as unused fibres are not always available for sending the single photons, and even when they are, can be prohibitively expensive.

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"Now we have shown that the single photon and data signals can be sent using different wavelengths on the same fibre," Shields said.

Quantum keys to encode and decode the information are traditionally sent on single photons, or particles of light, through dedicated optical fibre to segregate the line carrying the data itself.

But the breakthrough will allow scientists to use a photodetector to segregate weak photons from the light pulses passing through fibre optic cables, to encode and decode secret keys to scramble data over distances up to 56 miles.

It will facilitate sending quantum information over the same network by isolating it in its own frequency.

Quantum cryptography could be used to distribute the secret digital keys important for protecting our personal data, such as bank statements, health records, and digital identity.

The research paper published in Physical Review X says that the technique will help in generating uncrackable codes that encrypt data and reveal whether the data has been tamper with or not.

Toshiba researcher in Cambridge Andrew Shields said that the requirement of separate fibres has greatly restricted the applications of quantum cryptography in the past, as unused fibres are not always available for sending the single photons, and even when they are, can be prohibitively expensive.

"Now we have shown that the single photon and data signals can be sent using different wavelengths on the same fibre," Shields said.

Using this technique the researchers implemented quantum cryptography on ordinary telecom fibres while simultaneously transmitting data at 1 Gbit/s in both directions.
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CBR Staff Writer

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