Working with the University of St. Andrews and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), the company says that it has developed a working chip-based prototype of “perfect secrecy” and demonstrated that it is unbreakable – no matter how computational power evolves in the future.
“With the advent of more powerful quantum computers,” says Andrea Fratalocchi, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at KAUST, and leader of the study, “all current encryptions will be broken in very short time, exposing the privacy of our present and, more importantly, past communications, unless we think differently.”
Researchers from the organziations working on the project say they have rigorously demonstrated a protocol for a perfect secrecy cryptography that uses CMOS-compatible silicon chips that transmit information on a public classical optical network.
“Combined with the technological maturity, speed, and scalability of classic optical communications,” say the researchers, “the results shown open a pathway towards implementing perfect secrecy cryptography at the global scale with contained costs.”
The chip, say the researchers, was developed using chaos theory and the second law of thermodynamics, and transmits and measures signals at the speed of light and has an almost unlimited capacity of generating signals for each communication. Keys generated by the “perfect secrecy” chip, which unlock each message, are never stored or communicated with the message and cannot be recreated, even by the users themselves.
The silicon chips contain complex structures that are irreversibly changed for each communication, say the researchers, sending information in a one-time key that can never be intercepted by an attacker. The chips can generate 0.1 Tbit of different keys for every millimeter of length of the input channel, and require the transmission of an amount of data that can be as small as 1/1000 of the message’s length.
Professor Andrea Di Falco of the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of St. Andrews, and first author of the study says, “Our solution can protect communications exchanged by users separated by any distance and is based on a mature and fully scalable technology which is ready to deploy.”
CUP Sciences is responsible for coordinating the next steps of development of the technology among the inventing institutions and for the commercialization of technologies resulting from it. The company says it is anticipating applications ranging from the financial industry, protecting ecommerce and banking, to energy, supporting smart grids and cities.
“Our microchip providing ‘perfect secrecy’ will be the first of a host of complexity-based technologies that we will move toward commercialization, validating our disruptive approach,” says CUP Sciences co-founder Quelita Moreno. “CUP Sciences’ partner, PERA Complexity, will contribute with go-to-market strategy and commercialization. We look forward to identifying additional partners and investors who will work with us to bring this and other important technologies to the world.”
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