Quantum key technology is almost ready for implementation in smartphones

Information security experts both adore and hate quantum cryptography. This protection cannot be hacked - any attempt of unauthorized interaction with the key will disable it and raise an alarm in the system. But working with a quantum key is possible only in a laboratory, because any sigh, the smallest hindrance, irreversibly disrupt the process. And the equipment is not cheap.

And now - a breakthrough. A joint project between Nokia and Oxford scientists led to the prototype of a mobile quantum lock-and-key system that is insensitive to failures. To eliminate the factor of the user's shaky hands, the engineers added an LED beacon to the lock, which catches the light from the laser pointer in the key. The position-sensitive detector rotates the signal receiver to compensate for the displacement of the key in the human hand.

The quantum code is generated by a system of six LEDs that fire randomly every 4 nanoseconds, emitting a pulse just one nanosecond long. It is polarized and sent to a complex of six receivers, and they are already converting the captured photons into a digital key. In theory, hackers could measure the difference in wavelengths of light and pick a code, so a light filter was added here. From the side, the quantum key simply shines with an even light during operation.

Successful testing of a mobile anti-jamming version of the quantum key is more of a problem than a triumph. The whole world, primarily the political and financial sectors, panics from the threats of hacker attacks and desperately needs a new, reliable data protection mechanism. The technology of quantum keys can and should be released to the masses, but how can the most complex optical equipment be miniaturized and simplified? More precisely, how to make sure that the crypto module for a smartphone does not cost more than the annual income of its owner?