Quantum computing: Next-gen computers may be hack-proof

Scientists have built the first high-dimensional quantum cloning machine that can intercept a secure message, may protect next-gen computer from hacking attacks.

Computers are not always perfect. They are prone to bugs,crashes,failures. Even more dangerous theft of personal data. “Cyber Security” has been a major problem from the age of connected computing. Hackers could always find a way to manipulate or duplicate information during transmission.

Digital computing has been always been done by ‘0’ ‘s and ‘1’s . All algorithms that has been made to make communication more stronger can now be broken by modern super computers in matter of seconds. In the age where most of our private information is living in the cloud, the need for more secure forms of computing has never been so much greater.

This is where quantum computing comes in. Unlike the traditional methods of computing with binary digits, quantum computers computer information in form of ‘qubits’ which is the represented by the super position of states.

A quantum computer can solve a complex problem much more quicker than a traditional computer with one of the most efficient algorithms.

Traditional computing allows a hacker to simply copy and paste information and replicate it exactly, but this does not hold true in the quantum computing world, where attempts to copy quantum information – or qudits – result in what Karimi refers to as “bad” copies.

For the first time, the team was able to clone the photons that transmit information, namely the single carriers of light known as qubits, as well as quantum theory allows, meaning that the clones were almost exact replicas of the original information. However, in addition to undermining what was previously thought to be a perfect way of securely transmitting information, the researchers’ analyses revealed promising clues into how to protect against such hacking.

“What we found was that when larger amounts of quantum information are encoded on a single photon, the copies will get worse and hacking even simpler to detect,” said Frederic Bouchard, doctoral student at University of Ottawa. “We were also able to show that cloning attacks introduce specific, observable noises in a secure quantum communication channel,” said Bouchard.

“Ensuring photons contain the largest amount of information possible and monitoring these noises in a secure channel should help strengthen quantum computing networks against potential hacking threats,” he said. The quantum hacking efforts could be used to study quantum communication systems, or more generally to study how quantum information travels across quantum computer networks.