In case you have been resting beneath a log, you probably know that China is launching an unhackable communications network that international banks are already standing in line to become part of.
The network is based on quantum cryptology, a technology that China has pioneered while the west has essentially been standing around and watching.
The technology works via the exchange of a quantum key that is distributed by the sender to the receiver over light particles. If anyone tries to intercept the key in transit, it will self-destroy so that any attempt at hacking will immediately be noticed by the original sender and the intended receiver. Thus, it’s unhackability.
Quantum cryptography represents a radical departure from traditional encryption methods used in cybersecurity today. Europe and the U.S. have been reluctant to invest in research and development around quantum computing because they largely believed that the threats from cybersecurity attacks weren’t serious enough to warrant the expense. Perhaps now that we see Chinese users in the military, government, finance and electricity sectors sending and receiving absolutely secured messages, we may want to re-think this whole thing.
Traditional messaging encryption works by hiding the decryption key needed to read the message in a very difficult mathematical problem. But what was “difficult” in 2010 is no longer difficult for today’s computing machinery, rendering conventional encryption schemes with a shortened shelf life increasingly vulnerable to decryption computing.
Quantum computing works differently and is based in what Einstein called “the weird science” of Quantum Physics. Messaging on a quantum network enables a decryption key to be embedded in particles of light that have a mysterious property called superposition, which allows them to have a value of one and zero at the same time (as opposed to conventional bits); and these particles’ unique ability to tunnel through barriers as if they were walking through a wall. Fast and super-stateful and very freaky.
Quantum computing performs in seconds, computations that would take today’s conventional high speed computers millions of years to get through. Quantum computing will enable dramatic improvements in financial analysis and predictions, logistical planning, medical research and drug discovery to name just a few fields where the impact of quantum computing is gleefully anticipated.
But while China has forged ahead, the U.S. Congress can barely muster the energy to call for a DMARC application in house email systems. It’s not that we’re fiddling while Rome burns. It’s that we are playing the music so badly.
China’s smart and has a thousand year view of history. Their push in quantum communication means the country is taking enormous strides in developing applications that will not only make the increasingly vulnerable internet more secure, but will put them in a position to dominate global communications.
Making America great again probably does not mean having to buy Internet security applications from China or conforming to Chinese regulatory requirements for doing business with Chase bank.
Last year, China launched a satellite that was fully equipped to test quantum communication over large distances. The satellite established a link between China’s two main hubs, Beijing and Shanghai, so that both cities can communicate and recognize when unauthorized outsiders are listening in. This is the backbone of the future global quantum communications network that will replace the Internet.
Once this technology is put on the market by Chinese companies, Apple computer and Google will be forced to pay to play and Congress will as usual, be forced to wonder what happened while they were busy investigating Russian collusion and grilling Susan Rice on what she knew and when she knew it.
How will it feel to know that your only safe communications will occur over a Chinese network for which you will be charged a fee in order to deposit that paycheck on line? Yeah. That’s what I thought.
This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog post authored by Steve King. Read the original post at: News and Views – Netswitch Technology Management