A method of securely communicating between multiple quantum devices has been developed by a UCL-led team of scientists, bringing forward the reality of a large-scale, un-hackable quantum network.
To date, communicating via quantum networks has only been possible between two devices of known provenance that have been built securely.
With the EU and UK committing €1 billion and £270 million* respectively into funding quantum technology research, a race is on to develop the first truly secure, large-scale network between cities that works for any quantum device.
“We’re in a technology arms race of sorts. When quantum computers are fully developed, they will break much of today’s encryption whose security is only based on mathematical assumptions. To pre-emptively solve this, we are working on new ways of communicating through large networks that don’t rely on assumptions, but instead use the quantum laws of physics to ensure security, which would need to be broken to hack the encryption,” explained lead author, Dr Ciarán Lee (UCL Physics & Astronomy).
Published in Physical Review Letters and funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the study by UCL, the University of Oxford and the University of Edinburgh scientists details a new way of communicating securely between three or more quantum devices, irrespective of who built them.
“Our approach works for a general network where you don’t need to trust the manufacturer of the device or network for secrecy to be guaranteed. Our method works by using the network’s structure to limit what an eavesdropper can learn,” said Dr Matty Hoban (University of Oxford, previously University of Edinburgh).
The approach bridges the gap between the theoretical promise of perfect security guaranteed by the laws of quantum physics and the practical implementation of such security in large networks.
It tests the security of the quantum devices prior to engaging in communications with the whole network. It does this by checking if the correlations between devices in the network are intrinsically quantum and cannot have been created by another means.
These correlations are used to establish secret keys which can be used to encrypt any desired communication. Security is ensured by the unique property that quantum correlations can only be shared between the devices that created them, ensuring no hacker can ever come to learn the key.
The team used two methods – machine learning and causal inference – to develop the test for the un-hackable communications system. This approach distributes secret keys in a way that cannot be effectively intercepted, because through quantum mechanics their secrecy can be tested and guaranteed.
“Our work can be thought of as creating the software that will run on hardware currently being built to realise the potential of quantum communications. In future work, we’d like to work with partners in the UK national quantum technologies programme to develop this further. We hope to trial our quantum network approach over the next few years,” concluded Dr Lee.
The team acknowledge that an un-hackable network could be abused in the same way that current networks are, but highlight that there is also a clear benefit to ensuring privacy too.
Learn more: Developing a secure, un-hackable net
The Latest on: Quantum network
Now's the time to invest in quantum computing skills
on May 23, 2018 at 12:54 pm
Here a new U.S. venture sees NC State become the first university in North America to establish an IBM Q Hub as part of the global IBM Q Network. With this, NC State will have access to IBM Q commercial quantum computing devices. These will be put to use ... […]
How can you tell if a quantum memory is really quantum?
on May 23, 2018 at 6:44 am
"Quantum memories are indispensable components of long-distance quantum communication networks and potentially even in a full-scale quantum computer," Liang, a physicist at National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan, told Phys.org. "For these components to ... […]
What’s quantum computing [and why enterprises need to care]
on May 23, 2018 at 3:03 am
Additionally, in December 2017, IBM launched the IBM Q Network, a global consortium of Fortune 500 enterprises, research labs and academic organizations focused on exploring practical quantum computing applications for business and science. As of this ... […]
Who’s developing quantum computers?
on May 23, 2018 at 3:00 am
There are two main camps in the quantum computing development, says Ashish Nadkarni, Program Vice President of Computing Platforms, Worldwide Infrastructure at IDC. In the first camp are entrenched players from the world of classical computing. And in the ... […]
'Spooky action at a distance': Researchers develop module for quantum repeater
on May 22, 2018 at 12:03 pm
Quantum entanglement between two particles means that their ... ScienceDaily shares links and proceeds with scholarly publications in the TrendMD network. […]
Tunable diamond string may hold key to quantum memory
on May 22, 2018 at 8:02 am
This atomic-scale device needs to store quantum information and convert it into light to transmit across the network. Now, researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the University of Cambridge have ... […]
Quantum Network Hub Opens in Japan
on May 17, 2018 at 4:41 pm
Following on the launch of its Q Commercial quantum network last December with 12 industrial and academic partners, the official Japanese hub at Keio University is now open to facilitate the exploration of quantum applications important to science and ... […]
The world’s first quantum software superstore—or so it hopes—is here
on May 17, 2018 at 6:30 am
and some researchers have wondered about combining quantum circuits with dueling neural networks in an effort to dream up new molecules. Zapata’s financial backers, which include Pillar VC and The Engine, an MIT fund that invests in companies working on ... […]
IBM opens Q Network Hub in Tokyo to help businesses explore quantum computing
on May 17, 2018 at 5:41 am
IBM opened the first Q Network Hub in Asia Thursday, at Keio University in Tokyo. IBM's Q Network was announced last December as a cloud-based access method of utilizing the company's Q range of quantum computers, which currently have a computing capacity ... […]
IBM Quantum Computing Comes to North Carolina State University
on May 15, 2018 at 1:51 pm
(TNS) — RALEIGH — A new tie-in with IBM is helping North Carolina State University get in on the ground floor of quantum computing by allowing professors and students access to a network of the new machines that IBM has set up at its research lab in ... […]
via Google News and Bing News