Ultra-secure quantum communications

May 20, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- The risk of sensitive information falling into the wrong hands could be eliminated by a new quantum communication process that delivers unprecedented security.

UNSW telecommunications researcher Robert Malaney has developed the process, called "unconditional location verification", which ensures that even if an encryption password has fallen into the wrong hands, a secure message can only be seen by a recipient at an agreed geographic point.

Associate Professor Malaney, of the UNSW School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications, said quantum communications already allow unbreakable encryption but security can now be further enhanced using unconditional location verification.

"This takes to a level that hasn't previously been available," he said.

"With this process you can send data to a person at a particular location. If they are not at that location the process would detect that and you can stop the communication.

"This is a new application that you can deploy on current and emerging quantum networks. It opens up a range of new information security applications for both fibre and wireless communication networks.

"There would be many industries and organisations, banks for example, that would be interested in delivering information content in the sure knowledge a recipient is at an agreed-upon location."

The concept, which also has potential applications in the intelligence community, e-commerce and digital content distribution, is reported in the April edition of the American Physical Society journal Physical Review A.

The system works by sending paired "qubits" - particles, such as , which have been manipulated to contain specific - over a fibre optic or wireless network to a recipient. The recipient must send a return message, using information from the decoded qubits, to a number of reference points to open up a secure channel. Because operate at the speed of light and quantum information cannot be copied, the time to return the message can be accurately measured, ensuring that it has come from only one possible place.

Explore further: Researchers develop the first-ever quantum device that detects and corrects its own errors

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Shining light in quantum computing

Sep 12, 2006

University of Queensland scientist Devon Biggerstaff is investigating ways to manipulate light in a process that will help shape future supercomputers and communication technology.

'Dead time' limits quantum cryptography speeds

Sep 28, 2007

Quantum cryptography is potentially the most secure method of sending encrypted information, but does it have a speed limit" According to a new paper by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and ...

Scientists demonstrate all-fiber quantum logic

May 28, 2009

A team of physicists and engineers have demonstrated all-fibre quantum logic, where single photons are generated and used to perform the controlled-NOT quantum logic gate in optical fibres with high fidelity.

Secure Communication via Space

Apr 22, 2008

The exchange of information between distant sources is the basis of all communications, but quantum mechanics may open up this distant exchange as never before.

Recommended for you

Squeezing out new science from material interfaces

3 hours ago

With more than five times the thermal conductivity of copper, diamond is the ultimate heat spreader. But the slow rate of heat flow into diamond from other materials limits its use in practice. In particular, ...

The dark side of cosmology

8 hours ago

It's a beautiful theory: the standard model of cosmology describes the universe using just six parameters. But it is also strange. The model predicts that dark matter and dark energy – two mysterious entities ...

Studying effects of target 'tents' on NIF

8 hours ago

A systematic study of the effects on National Ignition Facility (NIF) implosions of the ultra-thin mounting membranes that support target capsules inside NIF hohlraums was reported by LLNL researchers in ...

Mathematicians model fluids at the mesoscale

8 hours ago

When it comes to boiling water—or the phenomenon of applying heat to a liquid until it transitions to a gas—is there anything left for today's scientists to study? The surprising answer is, yes, quite ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.