Revolutionary Quantum Breakthrough Paves Way For Safer Online Communication

from PHYS.ORG

The world is one step closer to having a totally secure internet and an answer to the growing threat of cyber-attacks, thanks to a team of international scientists who have created a unique prototype which could transform how we communicate online.

The invention led by the University of Bristol, revealed today in the journal Science Advances, has the potential to serve millions of users, is understood to be the largest-ever quantum network of its kind, and could be used to secure people’s online communication, particularly in these internet-led times accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

By deploying a new technique, harnessing the simple laws of physics, it can make messages completely safe from interception while also overcoming major challenges which have previously limited advances in this little used but much-hyped technology.

More here.

Posted in Privacy, Science, Technology and tagged , , .

10 Comments

  1. As a data analytics major I understand the importance of cyber security. Since our society is so internet and technology driven, it is important that security is impregnable. The hackers of today who steal people’s information are getting progressively adaptive as cyber security becomes stricter. What this means is that as cyber security becomes more complex, hackers learn how to crack the security wall. This has been happening for a long time now, and this new change of Quantum online security might be able to prevent these hackers from finally breaking through the firewalls.

    Not only is this news huge news in regard to personal communication, Quantum security is extremely valuable to large scale companies communicating about classified information. As a former large company employee, I understand the importance of privacy when it comes to communication. Many precautions are taken before sensitive information is exchanged between employees. Especially now that mainly the entire country is working online, security for classified information needs to be very strict. This is where the Quantum security could really help companies like the one I worked for. It is very expensive for a company to maintain its security but according to the article their “Quantum solution is scalable, relatively cheap and, most important of all, impregnable” (Para 5). This means that a company is going to have to pay less for the security and on top of that they will not have to have as complex of a process for protecting their information.

    Not only will this security be relatively cheap, the creation of this Quantum security will create advances in this technology which is exactly what people need in the world. If at the beginning of the introduction of Quantum security hackers cannot break the security wall then after more advancements security will be even more secure. With the introduction of this security there is a possibility that the trillions costed by security breaches will be eliminated to a certain extent. Even though it might not fix every problem right away, if the security can save money it is worth implementing it. Unfortunately right now it says the security can only be between two people, but with the advancements that will grow and soon progress to be more successful. As well as the security being cheaper, it is more efficient which could be easier for large scale companies who need a lot of security. It is explained that for the quantum security the systems can receive multiple users which means companies can use less systems in order to secure more information.

    Overall this new type of security is promising to everyone who owns some type of technology in the world. This type of security gives people better connection, better security, less expensive products, shorter setup time, ETC… Most people and companies care about the expense and security and quantum security is cheaper and more secure. This is why it should be a revolutionary invention for the future of electronic security.

  2. Cyber security plays a huge role in todays society. With technology in its prime and with millions of users around the world, the importance of cyber security is immeasurable. Especially with Covid-19’s impact, this new tech is more important than ever since everyone is online for school, meetings, etc. Minoring in data analytic has truly taught me just how important this internet feature is. This breakthrough is not only great for everyday users but for both companies small and large. This is because on a regular basis, companies are constantly trying to be hacked into in order for their information to be stolen. Hackers are keeping up with the technological upgrades, and hopefully this breakthrough will make it more difficult for hackers. This Quantum Online Security may be able to put hackers to rest once and for all.

    To add on top of this, quantum security would also be a huge benefit to government agencies and other companies that are exchanging and storing classified information. Not only is this a security benefit but a expense benefit as well. As stated in the article “Our solution is scalable, relatively cheap and, most important of all, impregnable. That means it’s an exciting game changer and paves the way for much more rapid development and widespread rollout of this technology.” This new wave of technology is relatively cheap which is good for everybody, especially big businesses. In most cases, businesses spend a lot of money on high tech security systems. Now, with this new groundbreaking tech, this could significantly reduce the costs associated with cybersecurity. It is very important is that this new era of technology will pave the way for even more advanced technology to come. As explained in the article, there were many challenges that stopped the progression of this new technology. This shows that now after breaking down those barriers, opens us up to a new era of highly advanced technology that will continue to evolve and make everyday life on the internet easier and safer to use.

    I think this new promising tech will eventually lead us into a time where technology today will seem outdated. This advancement in security helps businesses and individuals across the world by lowering costs, better connections, faster speeds, and much more.

  3. This is a great news in personal communication. Quantum security could be the solution to companies for making security for classified information very strict. Working in the field of E-Discovery, I have realized how important this breakthrough is for the everyday users.
    Cybersecurity is continually challenged by hackers, data loss, privacy, risk management, and changing cybersecurity strategies. Nothing currently indicates that cyber-attacks will decrease. Moreover, with the more entry points, there are for attacks, the more cybersecurity is needed to secure networks and devices.
    One of the most problematic elements of cybersecurity is the continually evolving nature of security risks. As new technologies emerge, and technology is used in new or different ways, new avenues of attack are developed as well. Multiplexing technology, which is at the base of quantum security could be the answer as it secures people’s online communication, particularly in these internet-led times, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Multiplexers, are extremely important to telecommunications because they reduce network costs by minimizing the number of communications links needed between two points. As with all other computing systems, multiplexers have evolved. Each new generation has additional intelligence, and additional intelligence brings more benefits.
    Multiplexers always come in pairs, so if you have one at one end, you must have one at the other end. They are also symmetrical, so if there are five outputs available at your San Francisco location, there must also be five inputs in the New York location. The key savings in this scenario comes from using only one leased line between New York and California. In San Francisco, short leased lines, referred to as tail circuits, run from the centrally placed multiplexer to each of the individual locations. Thus, five locations are sharing one high-cost leased line, rather than each having its own leased line. Intelligence embedded in the multiplexers allows the network manager to manage access to that bandwidth and to allocate network services to the endpoints.
    The more intelligent the multiplexer, the more actively and intelligently it can work on your behalf to dynamically make use of the transmission resources you have.

  4. For many people around the world, online communication is their main way of communicating to their families, friends, and employers. Online communication has become such a major part of society because of the technologic advances the world has seen in the past decade or so. I use online communication every day, whether it is for school, work, family, or friends. It is vital for my social life to function and I think this is how a lot of people feel. Since the pandemic started, I began to get an increasingly alarming number of hackers contacting me. I was getting fraudulent emails, text messages, and direct messages in my social media apps. I probably received around three of these a week, which is way more than I have ever received before. Obviously this is on a smaller scale of what the quantum network would be used for, but I would still enjoy the benefits of the invention. The quantum network would be able to protect people from all over the world. I think everyone deserves to feel safe while communicating online. This new technique that physicists from the University of Bristol invented could be the reason why online communication could become completely secure. Dr. Siddarth Joshi he believes that the “quantum internet is a much more realistic proposition” because of their new discovery and I agree. Hackers have been able to outsmart the complex codes the internet currently relies on to protect information and that is why there are so many cyber-attacks. I hear about cyber-attack incidents all the time. The quantum technique the physicists created should prevent cyber-attacks from happening because hackers won’t be able to outsmart the quantum network. Dr. Joshi and his team were able to create this quantum technique without the massive amount of funding that is usually needed for quantum systems. This means that their idea could become a reality very soon because of the obtainable price.
    In all honesty, I had no idea that quantum physics could be used to protect online communication and I think it is amazing that there are people who have recently discovered it. Having secure online communication would mean so much for so many people around the world, especially for governments and their leaders. Countries would have a level of protection that they haven’t had in the past. However, if online communication becomes completely secure, then there is room for more illegal behavior to happen online. Secure online communication can help criminals protect themselves from the illegal activities they are committing. In my opinion, this could be a world-wide problem. Previously I stated that everyone deserves to feel safe while communicating online, but I never really thought about the negatives that could come from that.
    Teresa Richardson
    richardsote@rider.edu

  5. In today’s time hackers are all over the internet performing scams, and a way to put an end to them has been needed for many years, we have all been subject to at least one, and this is why I’m glad to see this article today. The internet has been around for quite some time now, people use it every day to get tasks done. As we use the internet every day to get our class time in and shop and watch videos. With that people are getting very smart with their ways to manipulate the internet for person gain. Since we have been using code for so long to encrypt files online, hackers have adapted with the times and are up to no good. When speaking about encryptions and cyber security, we must take into regard its importance. Many nationally classified files are sent around databases every day to get where they need to go, and they need to do so without being breached. On top of that, people want security on everyday use as well, so having something become cheaper as it expands is amazing. I would’ve never expected the way that we would transfer files in the future would be by way of light. But seeing as this is physically the fastest mode of transportation it makes sense to me that this would be the new way to transmit information. This technology seems like it could be the start of the future, as more organizations pick up in it, the more widespread it will be and the more effective it will become. The one downside is that if a line is completely secure there is no way to find out if illicit or illegal activity will take place on it and we could have a quantum version of the dark web on our hands, and I don’t think that is where the designers of this product want it heading that way. With proper monitoring though, this product could be the next World Wide Web and I look forward to a time where I am confident that every click I make online is completely secure.

  6. Hackers, people that don’t want to put in the full effort of doing something so they want to get a shortcut out of it. This doesn’t work like this and it can come to a very harsh consequences. Hackers have to download many other apps us people don’t know about today, and they can do all kinds of illegal stuff. for example they can log into your social media accounts without you knowing, they can know where you are at times, they can hack into your bank account. Hackers are very sneaky people that take the short way out of life, and it doesn’t end up well. The FBI should take down these hackers and put them in jail because they have no cause of being in someone else’s business. Hackers also know of different types of technology services that we don’t know about, and they use it for their own goods. Seeing the little lock by your website on a computer shows that the website is legit, and can’t be used by a hacker, also there are websites that don’t have that and little ads pop up and those can be hackers. usually they ask you for your information and with that information they can access a way more about you than you think. Hackers can also pretend to be someone else and want to get to know more about you and the more information you give them the more and more the hacker feels confident on whatever he is planning to do. They can be on social media apps, like Facebook, instagram, and snapchat. The way technology works now we don’t know what can be happening to us and by who. I sometimes get called from spams or weird phone numbers and area codes, some pick up the phone to them and that may be a way they can get into or start whatever they want to finish. This is why you have to keep your private info private, and only give that out when necessary and make sure you know everything about the situation. I also believe that the quantum network should up their security and crack down on these hackers, and put them to jail.

  7. The COVID-19 pandemic hindering the amount of face to face interaction companies may have experienced switching to online workspaces. These online workspaces have become mandatory in order to try to keep business as productive as possible. With this spotlight being shined on the online world, many advancements have been made trying to make the online experience even better. Dr. Joshi and his team from the University of Bristol have made a breakthrough in quantum technology that can have a positive effect on cyber security.
    I believe the technology in this article can be very beneficial and applied to all aspects of the technological world. The fact that it is inexpensive and scalable is great because it can be brought all around the world. The inexpensive price could leave room for even more advancements and allow this program to continue to grow. This will be great for banking information and keeping data secret. There is not much of a worse feeling than going to check the balance in your bank account and seeing that you have no money left because someone was able to make a transaction and you did not even have a chance to act upon it. In 2019, there were over 400k complaints about cybercrimes resulting in over 3 billion dollars lost. The article stated it had already been applied to voting. This is great news for the United States with the upcoming elections because they would not be able to be hampered with by other countries. Due to COVID-19, the United States government has been split on the topic of how we are going to accurately vote. Mail in voting raises problems and so does the normal voting procedure. That being said, having safer internet like this could prevent our voting from being influenced by other countries, hackers, etc. Granted, I do not think that it will be in place in time for the election. Something like this would be really nice to have for our national defense systems. If the pentagon were hacked by someone who wanted to misuse the information, they had available to them, it can go bad really quick. Having Dr. Joshi’s new quantum technology could be exactly what our defense system needs to prevent potential hacking. Hackers are evolving very quickly and adapt to every new form of protection they come across. In 2017, it was released that the Pentagon’s travel records were hacked, and this put at least 30,000 jobs in jeopardy (businessinsider.com). Dr. Joshi’s discovery could not be implemented any faster, especially since it is cheaper than ever, with how rapidly we have all moved online. This new quantum technology could be what the banking industry needed to save money, as well as a huge help to the government when sharing classified files.

    Sources: https://www.welivesecurity.com/2020/02/13/fbi-cybercrime-losses-tripled-last-5-years/#:~:text=In%202019%2C%20the%20United%20States,Internet%20Crime%20Report%20(IC3).

  8. I could not tear my eyes away from this article from start to finish! I have always been fascinated by the world of quantum physics, although I believe my understanding of anything but the core concepts is rudimentary at best. I personally feel that quantum network computing and blockchain derivatives will be the near-future of safe communication encryption and this article provides strong evidence that the once theoretical world of quantum computing could be a lot closer to network implementation than predicted just a few years ago. The work of Michio Kaku echoes the positive sentiment of this article in which the security benefits of quantum computing are clear and present, especially in this day and age with, as the article puts it, “the internet-led times accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic”. The hardware and technology developments presented by the University of Bristol writer are not only tangible but in a working mock-up form which is incredible considering the theoretical nature of quantum networks until very recently.
    While I believe that blockchain technology will provide a more economical solution to secure communication in the next few years, the quantum networks described in this article will probably become the basis for the secure networks of tomorrow. Unfortunately, I do think that this article makes some assumptions that should not be taken for granted regarding the impenetrable nature of the described quantum networks. As we know from the history of data science and cybersecurity, declaring any system of data encryption or protection impenetrable or invulnerable is to invite the best minds to prove that assertion wrong. Throughout the history of anti-hacking software and hardware solutions, many have been heralded as “unhackable”, yet, are often exploited in short order. Even hardware dependant solutions such as the PlayStation 1’s anti-pirating “wiggle” which were thought to be uncrackable, were eventually defeated and continually broken with cheaper and cheaper solutions. I believe the author’s sentiment that the anti-exploit characteristics comes from the security afforded by the hardware-based solution which relies on beams of light being split and sent simultaneously between different nodes which would make traditional brute-force exploitation meaningless. I think this may be a shortsighted evaluation as technological improvements make fools of us all in the long-run. While software-based encryption cracking would be rendered useless by the new style of data protection, hardware-based break-ins are certainly not out of the question. Especially when one considers the physical limitations of the node-to-node connection on the quantum network involving fiber optics cables which, if identified, could be spliced into new connections and receivers. While my understanding of the details of the network’s exact functionality is probably lacking, I do know for sure that there is no system that can withstand the pressures applied when people with intelligence and time consistently apply their efforts to breaking a protective system.
    I think the business implications of this technology are fantastic and hard to imagine in their entirety because of the recency of development. Blockchain has existed in many forms for almost a decade now but has failed to be implemented into existing technology as well as was theoretically promised during its infancy. I think a combination of this new quantum technology with blockchain verification would potentially improve the security of the overall system to a level hitherto unknown to the world. There have been so many articles in the past few weeks talking about the impossibility of implementing an online voting system that could be secure enough to base national elections on, but the new technology in data science and computing science supports the idea that maybe the exponentially declining curve of security advancements will one day skim the X-axis and reach a point of complexity that nefarious users will not be able to approach with any level of technology available to singular persons. As the importance of the internet has been highlighted repeatedly by the challenges of a pandemic society, the development of quantum networks is certainly indicative of a new renaissance in computer technology to come and the raising of the upper limits defined by traditional network architecture.

    • **A correction to this post** There should be a paragraph break at line 13, “While I believe that blockchain technology will provide…” however the formatting was interfered with during the posting process.

  9. It seems that Quantum Key Distribution provides a fresh take on efficient internet communication security. Until recently, the safest way to share messages online was through the use of trusted nodes. However, it became apparent that these trusted nodes could still possibly leak private information because of the strain put on it by its use of excess hardware. Through a process called “multiplexing”, light particles are split as they are being emitted by a single system. This is what makes the Quantum Key Distribution method so efficient and reliable, as it uses a methodology that allows for safer and efficient communication between multiple users at once. Quantum Key Distribution also uses less hardware that previously known encryption technology does because it already integrates with more modern technology. Those with faster connection are also prioritized for smoother searching.

    I think it’s great that technology is constantly becoming more advanced as time goes on, especially during a time like this. With the ongoing global pandemic still plaguing countries all around the globe, the internet has become more of a necessity than ever before. Therefore, it can’t be stressed enough how important it is to be able to use it safely. Quantum Key Distribution provides very efficient and effective cyber security, making it the perfect tool to use during a global crisis. We rely so heavily on the internet in the modern world. We use it to communicate, learn, and teach one another. If we still have to worry about things like cyber attacks and malware corrupting such a necessity, then we can’t continue to grow as people of the modern age. Technology is always changing for the better, and this new technique clearly proves it! It’s relatively cheap, it provides effective security while using minimal amounts of energy per use, and it allows people to use the internet efficiently without having to worry about safety issues.

    As an accounting major, I know that I’ll need to rely on technology more than I ever have before. Knowing that technology like this exists now, during a time where it’s needed the most, puts me at ease. It’s nice to know that I can rely on something like this to make things easier for me as I navigate the internet world. Technology like this will revolutionize the way we use the internet for ages to come.

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