RealNews

A Quantum Leap in Cryptography

Visionaries are using photons to develop data-security systems that may prove the ultimate defense against eavesdropping hackers. In a dark, quiet room inside the Boston labs of BBN Corp. (VZ ), network engineer Chip Elliott is using the laws of physics to build what he hopes will be an unbreakable encryption machine. The system, which sits atop a pink heat-absorption table, is designed to harness subatomic particles to create a hacker-proof way to communicate over fiber-optic networks. To build his black box, Elliott has used off-the-shelf fiber-optic gear such as lasers and detectors, which he has tweaked to do unusual things. The goal is to reliably emit and detect single photons or tightly linked pairs of photons — the key particles in light waves. It’s all part of a leading edge information-security field known as quantum cryptography. Full Story

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