SCIENCEScientists develop an ‘uncrackable’ code

By Sarah Knapton

THE world’s first uncrackable security system, which quantum computers could not hack, has been developed by researchers.Computer scientists had feared that the dawn of quantum computing would allow even the most fiendishly encrypted data to be decoded, causing a major headache for banks, government agencies and communications providers.As far back as 1917, scientists had proposed that “perfect secrecy” could be achieved if it was possible to change the key which encrypts a message each time, based on the message itself.Now, the University of St Andrews and international partners, have done just that, with a chip that effectively creates a one-time-only key from data being sent in a way that can never be hacked. The information is stored as light, then passed through a silicon chip containing complex structures, which bend and refract it, scrambling the information.Prof Andrea di Falco, of the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of St Andrews, and first author, said: “This new technique is absolutely unbreakable.”Security experts were concerned cyberterrorists were already storing information ready to break quantum computing once it was a reality but the new system stops hackers in their tracks.The research was published in the journal Nature Communications.Swipe between articles