Feeds

NEC touts quantum crypto advances

I can see the light

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

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

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.