Adding Noise Could Fight Hackers With Quantum Computers

This communication protocol guarantees 100% privacy and can be implemented experimentally.
Derya Ozdemir

As the world gets more connected, the need for more the need for a means of secure and efficient communication has become of paramount importance.

While interactions between systems are secured using cryptology, we are still not so sure about how we can make the devices in use completely secure. Quantum computing represents a future threat to today’s cryptosystems.

However, researchers at the University of Basel and ETH Zurich might have actually laid the groundwork for a communication protocol that guarantees 100% privacy.


In order to fight hackers that have quantum computers, researchers all around are working on new encryption methods based on the principles of quantum mechanics. This team of physicists' research differs from the current methods since the other protocols assume that the communicating devices are known and trustworthy which might lead to breaches. 

The researchers developed a communication protocol that offers ultimate privacy protection, singling out from the other studies.

Can be implemented experimentally

This protocol can be implemented experimentally and guarantees security in cases where the devices used for communication are "black boxes." Quantum computers are built inside black boxes where no light or sound can penetrate since they need to eliminate decoherence in order to induce superposition in their qubits. 

The press release states that some theoretical proposals for communication protocols with black boxes exist out there; however, they couldn't be implemented experimentally since the devices used had to be highly efficient in detecting information about the crypto key. If the information units remain undetected by large, it would be impossible to know if they were hijacked by a third party.

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'Diluting information with noise'

This new protocol overcame this problem by "diluting information with noise." By adding artificial noise to the information about the crypto key, they made it possible for an eavesdropper to not receive enough information that would forsake the security of the protocol.

Also, the researchers were able to lower the requirement for the devices used to be highly efficient in detecting information.

Study lead Professor Nicolas Sangouard stated, "Since the first small-scale quantum computers are now available, we urgently need new solutions for protecting privacy. Our work represents a significant step toward the next milestone in secure communications."

The results are published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

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