Feeds

NEC touts quantum crypto advances

I can see the light

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Japanese boffins have succeeded in achieving what's touted as the World's fastest continuous quantum cryptography key generation. Researchers from NEC, the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology and the Japan Science and Technology Agency achieved a fortnight-long, continuous quantum cryptography final-key generation1 at an average rate of 13kbps over a 16-km-long commercial optical network.

Developments in producing a low-noise photon receiver and an alternative-shift phase modulation method permitted the advance. An average quantum error rate is 7.5 per cent and the average final-key generation rate is 13.0 kbps was achieved during the experiment.

Quantum cryptography allows two users on an optical fibre network to exchange secret keys. It takes advantage of the particle-like nature of light. In quantum cryptography, each bit of the key is encoded upon a single light particle (or ‘photon’). Intercepting this data randomly changes the polarisation of the light, irreversibly altering the data. Because of this quantum mechanics affect any attempt by an eavesdropper to determine a key corrupts the same key. Quantum cryptography systems discard these corrupt keys and only use codes that are known to be secure. These quantum keys, once exchanged, can be used in a one-time pad.

Swiss firm ID Quantique, along with US start-up MagiQ, are the only companies selling quantum key distribution systems commercially though QinetiQ and Toshiba Cambridge are also heavily involved in research into "unbreakable" cryptography. NEC said that previous quantum cryptography systems have not been able to achieve long-time continuous key generation due to fibre delay variations, reflection and scattering in fibre.

NEC has developed Wavelength division multiplexing technologies to enable transmission of synchronizing signals and quantum signals in the same optical fibre, a feature touted as an advance of existing commercial systems. However the availability of commercial systems from NEC may be up to three years away, IDG reports. ®

1 The final-key is generated from the raw-key by eliminating bits that have possibilities of errors and eavesdropping. The raw-key is a set of random bits generated by single-photon transmission and detection.

Related stories

Aussie boffins patent single-photon generator
Quantum crypto moves out of the lab
Quantum crypto comes to Blighty

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.