Photons trained for optical fiber obstacle course will deliver stronger cyber security

ScienceDaily | 4/4/2019 | Staff
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This new approach supports the deployment of a technology known as quantum key distribution (QKD). Transmitted over fibre networks, it uses signals sent in particles of light known as photons. Detection of individual photons creates encryption keys for secure communication. Data encrypted with such keys is resistant to all computational hacks.

QKD trials are being conducted worldwide as governments and companies recognise the need to strengthen their cyber security. The QKD trials carried out by the NUS-Singtel team use pairs of photons that are connected by the quantum property of entanglement. Most QKD schemes require that the sender and receiver of a secret message exchange photons directly or trust the source of their keys. With this alternative approach, it is possible to check the security of a key provided by a third party supplier.

Supplier - Pair - Photons - Parties - Entanglement

It works like this: the supplier would create a pair of photons, then split them up, sending one each to the two parties that want to communicate securely. The entanglement means that when the parties measure their photons, they get matching results, either a 0 or 1. Doing this for many photons leaves each party with identical patterns of 0s and 1s, giving them a key to lock and unlock a message.

Typically, each photon encounters a different obstacle course of spliced fibre segments and junction boxes. On their paths, the photons also suffer dispersion, where they effectively spread out. This affects the operators' ability to track the photons.

The...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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