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Einstein key stops hacks

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A THEORY first proposed by Albert Einstein 70 years ago has provided the basis for a new electronic key that could spell the demise of computer hackers.

Physicists at the Australian National University have successfully used bright lasers to prevent transmitted data from being hacked. Their breakthrough was based on work done by Einstein and his colleagues in 1935.

They uncovered a phenomenon known as entanglement, a theory that described the way particles of energy interacted predictably with each other.

Applying this theory in the field of quantum cryptography allowed the ANU group to generate a secret key that prevented data from being hacked. The discovery was expected to be of particular interest to defence and intelligence organisations, governments and the finance sector because it allowed communication without eavesdropping.

The security of quantum cryptography was guaranteed by the laws of physics, as the security of conventional cryptographic methods relied on the complexity of mathematical operations.

The ANU scientists, led by Dr Ping Koy Lam, have developed an experimental prototype demonstrating this futuristic technology and were currently investigating the potential commercial applications.

"The technology employs specially generated secret electronic data, or keys, to encrypt a message," the ANU team said. "Upon receipt of the encrypted message, the recipient uses a precisely matching decoding key to recover the original message.

"It could revolutionise information security in the way the World Wide Web revolutionised the availability of information."

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This technology is already out of date. There's a laser technology which is corkscrewed which makes it impossible for anyone to read the data unless they are directly in front of it. This tech also allows more than 2 bits of data - which will allow either large packets of data to be sent speeding up the internet (or allowing for more growth @ current speeds) and will also allow for molecular computer architecture which modern laser technology cannot.

As for Einstein, I'll simply ask this: Why can current quantum theory only work in 2 spacial dimentions and 1 spacetime dimention?

I'll also ask, why are ppl going back to Einstein's work on quantum theories which have supposedly long since been "outdated" to create new sources of energy?    

By Anonymous Naveen on 11/08/2005 08:27:00 PM

If this key is really so unbreakable it will never make it into normal businesses. I can already imagine CIA/FBI/NSA folks looking really worried... "damn, are we going to loose the ability to play Big Brother..."

Oh, btw "NSA" is not in dictionary used by spelling checker ;)    

By Anonymous Anand on 11/08/2005 08:28:00 PM

"They uncovered a phenomenon known as entanglement".
Uh, no?
I wish there was a 'bury it' link, since that article
needs to be.    

Now if everyone computer came equiped with some sort of death ray lazr thingy, and zapped a hacker as soon as he started hack... that would kill hackers.    

Ok, encryption yes but come on, this is why i hate the mass media. Its not going to stop the hacking of public services which is probably of greater concern. If your looking for outlandishly exspensive ways to secure a network there are plenty already available.    

It will stop someone from sniffing something out, but do nothing to stop the hackers that get onto your computer or network.

Much respect to E, but you have to remember there are non-E humans operating computers    

By Anonymous Rakesh Nair on 11/08/2005 08:38:00 PM

No death for hackers spelled out today. How many people do you think will actually bother to encrypt their data? How will that stop rootkits and Fr3e Scr33ns4verz? And even if every possible hole in a computer system is close, no programmer can fix A PEBKAC (Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair). Einstein was wrong about so many things. Special relativity. Then he screwed it up even worse with General Relativity. Can you really trust him on this one? The guy was a loser.    

they don't really high light in this artical that the quantum engaglement only happens when the data is transmitted throught the lazer. so hacking/bugging might be impossible (or to be more acurate, mathematically implosible) in the lazer stream, hacking/bugging can occure before or after the entanglement.

and since i don't see lazers replacing, Cat5E cable any time soon, don't expect any real results    

Wow. Never have I seen a more complete misunderstanding of Quantum Cryptography.

If you define "hacking" as "interception of transmitted data" or "eavesdropping", then this article might have a grain of truth in it.    

By Anonymous Sumit on 11/08/2005 09:10:00 PM

Naveen can you post a link to this "corkscrewed laser" you speak of? I've never heard of it. Tapping high speed fiber optics is possible but very risky. It requires extreme expensive equipment and every more expensive computing power to sift through all the data you get from a tap. It's like trying to isolate a grain of sand in a fairly large sand box, you can do, but at what cost of time and money? Not to mention it get 10x more complex when you have to tap transoceanic fiber runs.    

By Anonymous Sujoy on 11/08/2005 09:12:00 PM

This isnt going to stop.... ONCE AGAIN, IF DATA CAN BE READ IT CAN BE CRACKED GIVEN ENOUGH TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Security is false sense of safty... Anyways, The data is encypted with keys... There are a lot of encyption methods use keys and can be cracked. Hell SSL *can* be cracked, althought a brut force attacks takes a while. Anywho, nice to see new methods of encytion...

Ok my point behind all this is, no matter how secure anything is, it can still be cracked given enough time and effort. If someone wants into ur system bad enough, they will do it.    

By Anonymous Joydeep on 11/08/2005 09:15:00 PM

quantum cryptography ..this is really old news ..nothing new to see here.

and btw the failure of any crypto is in the implementation not in the crypto itself.    

By Anonymous Vinod on 11/08/2005 09:16:00 PM


einsteins name just makes suddenly more impressive, doesn't it?    

By Anonymous Varinder on 11/08/2005 09:20:00 PM

This story is a joke. The real advances in this area are made by people such as Anton Zeilinger and his team in Austria. They have been sending quantum encrypted informatin across increasing distances for YEARS, more than a year ago even completed the first quantum encrypted bank transaction... Squash this.    

By Anonymous Prabhu on 11/08/2005 09:22:00 PM

The article is misleading. Einstein did not "invent" quantum entanglement. In fact Einstein thought the idea was so absurd that he used it as "proof" that quantum physics was an incomplete science. The principle was Bohr and Heisenberg's proposed solution to the EPR (Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen) paradox.    

i just went to lecture about quantum information so i decided to share my new found knowledge.
this is the common mans guide to quantum cryptography. we're talking photons polarized here (vertically, horizontally, left tilted and right tilted).
alice sends random states to bob:
| / - | | / / | -
bob measures states with a random alignment:
- | / / | | -
alice tells bob which measurements will result in accurate results:
y n y n n n y n y y
bob now has a key:
0 0 1 1 1
at this point neither party has told anyone what the key actually is.
to protect against an eavesdropper (eve) who would collapse the eigenstates if she analyzed the data (therefor ruining it), alice sends bob say 10% of the real key (imagine the key has a much longer bit length and this works), if alice and bob's keys don't jive, they do the entire thing over until eve stops eavesdropping.
there you have it, quantum cryptography. this can be done along long distances (talking 100km+) through fiber optics and los alamos is working on doing it via satelite. it is very real and very secure (as secure as physical laws allow) although as stated above it does not protect against either computer being compromised, it protects against the data being intercepted.
this article is not news.
this is all because of a theory called the "no cloning theorem" presented by Wootters, Zurek, and Dieks in 1982.

By Anonymous James on 11/09/2005 04:22:00 PM

This is not really news. This idea has been around for a while, and there are a couple inaccuracies. 1) It should decrease bugs and increase security, not stop hacking. 2) Quantum entanglement is NOT part of Einsteins theories. In fact, Einstein never acknowledged quantum theory at all ("God doesn't play dice with the universe."). 3) The future of encryption is more commonly believed to lie in quantum encryption, specifically using the aforementioned "quantum entanglement", which is actually not about hacking either. There are a couple other minor things, but i dont want to bore you with the details...    

By Anonymous Superficial Brain on 11/09/2005 04:24:00 PM

It would be kinda nice if every router out there eventually ended up using non-tapable links between each other.
That would at least slow down those evil script kiddies who have been known to put taps on cables lying at the bottom of the ocean, among other places    

By Anonymous Indian Oceanic Waves on 11/09/2005 04:25:00 PM

You can never stop the Hackers. No matter what you do they will always be out there. Maybe operating in a different way but they will still be there.    

By Anonymous Varinder on 11/09/2005 04:26:00 PM

YEAH you can crack anything. Hell I crack walnuts all the time.    

By Anonymous Walnut Cracker on 11/09/2005 04:27:00 PM

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