Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 37415
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2018/09/20 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
9/20    

2005/4/28-30 [Science/Physics, Computer/Theory] UID:37415 Activity:nil
04/28   Quantum Crypto for Video Conferencing:
        http://www.nature.com/news/2005/050425/full/050425-9.html
        \_ I think you don't need to crack every frame to steal secrets.  If
           you can crack the audio stream and you can crack one video frame per
           two or three seconds, that's good enough.
2018/09/20 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
9/20    

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Cache (3609 bytes)
www.nature.com/news/2005/050425/full/050425-9.html
Mark Peplow Photon technology ramps up encryption speeds. A secure code key can be passed down a wire as a beam of light. Toshiba Quantum cryptography has been sped up to the point that it can be used to secure video conferencing. Scientists from Toshiba's Cambridge Research Laboratory unveiled their in vention to business leaders and government officials at Britain's Depart ment of Trade and Industry in London on 27 April. Their system is capable of generating 100 quantum 'keys' every second. Th is is fast enough for every individual frame of video to be protected by its own encryption. "This makes the system highly secure," says Andrew Shields, who leads the Cambridge team. "It would take an enormous comput ational resource to crack this frame by frame." Toshiba representatives say the technology could be commercially availabl e in as little as two years' time. Although it could initially cost up t o US$20,000, Michael Pepper, managing director of Toshiba Research Europ e Limited, says the price will plummet as demand increases. Up to speed Although video conferencing can already be secured using conventional enc ryption, this can still be intercepted and decoded by someone with suffi cient computing power. Quantum cryptography promises to stop such eavesdroppers. The system work s by first establishing a 'key' that provides instructions on how to dec ode an incoming message. Intercepting a message breaks the key and alerts the sender and in tended recipient to the security breach, because the very act of observi ng a quantum state changes it. The Toshiba system creates keys made of 256 'bits', where each bit is a p hoton speeding along a fibre-optic cable. A photon represents either one or zero depending on whether it arrives slightly early or late at its d estination. By passing a series of messages between the sender and recei ver, both can arrive at a secure, mutually agreed key. Once a key is established, a single frame of encrypted video signal is tr ansmitted down a standard Ethernet cable. The team hopes that in the near future, both keys and video will be able to travel down the same fibre-optic cable. Unlike previous systems, which become unreliable when they heat up, this device can run continuously for more than four weeks, says Shields. The quantum information can only go so far before being corrupted by random interactions with surrounding material, however. "We've shown this can w ork over 120 kilometres of fibre," says Shields. Quantum crackers Experts are surprised by how quickly this technology has matured. "I did not really expect the thing to become practical, much less commercial, w hen I invented it with Charles Bennett back in 1984," says Gilles Brassa rd of the University of Montreal, Canada. Brassard was part of the team that first demonstrated a working quantum cryptography device. Brassard thinks that the main barrier to quantum encryption is demand. Fo r most users, the nearly-uncrackable transmissions that are achieved thr ough cheaper, simpler methods are good enough. "But the situation could change dramatically if quantum computers become a reality," he says. Quantum computers are decades away from being built, but researchers beli eve they will boost computing power to levels that will enable codes to be broken very quickly. "What most people don't realize is that classical encryption schemes can be broken retroactively," warns Brassard. "A spy can take down encrypted Internet traffic and set it aside until a quantum computer becomes avai lable. I think quantum cryptography could boom when people realize this.