Researchers have developed a technique that will ensure security of fiber optic cables cost effectively.
With their ability to move copious amounts of data at the speed of light, fiber optic cables have become the backbone of our modern day high-speed Internet. And though they are used to transfer thousands of millions of pieces of information, they are also incredibly insecure.
The fibers themselves are easily exposed by simply bending the cable. Once exposed, it is possible to eavesdrop on every piece of information flowing through the fiber by capturing the light leaking from the cable and converting it into binary code which is then read by a computer.
Researchers have recently perfected a technique that will ensure the security of these high-speed fiber optic cables. The technique captures pulses of quantum light hidden within the normal light used to transfer data through the cable fibers. When using this technique, due to the laws of quantum physics, the act of observing or attempting to eavesdrop on the light flowing through one of these fibers becomes instantly obvious.
Because this form of encrypting data sends the key through the same optical fiber as the data, the cost and complexity of cryptography system is lessened, making this technique more appealing to commercial data networks.
Original article by John Markoff.
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