Cloud Computing: Everyday quantum computing is years off - so why are some firms already doing quantum encryption?

Grazed from ZDNet. Author: Tina Amirtha.

Phone companies around the world are working to protect their customers' data from a threat does not yet exist: large quantum computers. Although the arrival of these advanced machines could be as far off as 15 years, telecoms companies are already implementing new quantum encryption algorithms.

These firms are preparing for the possibility that quantum computers will one day scale sufficiently to break through even the most sophisticated of today's encryption barriers. The most common quantum encryption method utilizes a technology called quantum key distribution, which can be implemented on existing fiber-optic connections...

Two users constantly send random strings of numbers to each other as pulses of photons. Each pulse of photons is saved in the specific quantum states of on, off, or on-off, which represent one number string, or key. Any third party or eavesdropper that tries to intercept a key inherently changes the key's quantum state, which alerts the users to the security breach. Conventional data encryption methods cannot necessarily detect an eavesdropper on a communications link...

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