World's first 'uncrackable' code

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by dealmaker, Dec 21, 2019.

  1. dealmaker


    World's first 'uncrackable' code: Scientists develop security system that can never be hacked - even by quantum computers
    • Team at University of St Andrews along with partners created 'uncrackable' code
    • Uses optical chips that send information user to user using one-time-only key
    • The technology overcomes the major threat of quantum computers which will soon be able to crack existing methods

    PUBLISHED: 04:46 EST, 21 December 2019 | UPDATED: 04:48 EST, 21 December 2019

    Researchers have developed the world's first 'uncrackable' security system to protect communications against cyber attacks, it has emerged.

    A team at the University of St Andrews along with international partners are believed to have achieved 'perfect secrecy' with the new technology, which stops the threat of quantum computers being used to hack into data.

    The proposed new system uses silicon chips that contain complex structures that are irreversibly changed to send information in a one-time key that can never be recreated nor intercepted by an attacker.


    Researchers have developed the world's first 'uncrackable' security system that uses silicon chips that contain complex structures that are irreversibly changed to send information in a one-time key that can never be recreated nor intercepted by an attacker. Pictured: Leader of the study, Dr Andrea Fratalocchi

    The information is stored as light, then passed through the 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 described the technique as '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 idea of 'perfect secrecy' was proposed by scientists as far back as 1917, and could be achieved if it was possible to change the key which encrypts a message each time, based on the message itself.

    First author, Professor Andrea di Falco of the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of St Andrews, said: 'This new technique is absolutely unbreakable, as we rigorously demonstrated in our article.

    'It can be used to protect the confidentiality of communications exchanged by users separated by any distance, at an ultrafast speed close to the light limit and in inexpensive and electronic compatible optical chips.'

    Leader of the study, Dr Andrea Fratalocchi, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at KAUST, said: 'With the advent of more powerful and quantum computers, all current encryptions will be broken in very short time, exposing the privacy of our present and, more importantly, past communications.

    'For instance, an attacker can store an encrypted message that is sent today and wait for the right technology to become available to decipher the communication.

    'Implementing massive and affordable resources of global security is a worldwide problem that this research has the potential to solve for everyone, and everywhere. If this scheme could be implemented globally, crypto-hackers will have to look for another job.'

    The results were published in the scientific journal Nature Communications
    dartmus likes this.
  2. tango29


    I wonder what number this is of claims of "uncrackable code"! It is until some tech guy who is bored and decides to crack it, or it goes into mass use for secure and or financial areas, thus putting it on a criminals must list of things to break into to do list.
    I still remember watching a video from a tech security conference where a couple guys on stage asked who had such and such phone with the newest security protocols. and a bunch of people raised their hands. I'm pretty sure it was less than 5 minutes the 2 guys on stage had cracked the latest greatest security and hacked the phones.
    I know I know, this is different. So was that and every other totally secure code before.
  3. kandlekid


    Well, it might also be unretrievable :(
  4. gaussian


    It's weird how they're claiming this is new. If you discount the discrete logarithm problem the principle weakness in modern cryptography is that you have to know a key. If the key can be obtained (or enough bits can be revealed as a result of a lack of entropy) then the encryption can be broken.

    Since the dawn of time the most 'uncrackable' cryptography is a one time pad. The values are only known by the recipient, generated properly they are unreadable without the translator. These scientists haven't done anything new. Not even quantum computing can crack a well built one time pad. Bonus points - a 7 year old can create a one time pad making it both simple and secure.

    Minor correction doc, only cryptography based on the difficulty of the discrete logarithm problem will be simply defeated via Shor's Algorithm. It's ballsy to suggest other forms of cryptography would suffer from such a weakness.

    Nature Communications is a megajournal and accepts a wider variety of paper and author qualities. I'm not familiar with this particular author, but generally a major discovery such as this would be published in a larger subject journal if it was huge. It is still a respected journal, but a few tiers below what one would expect for a major breakthrough.
  5. vanv0029


    An unbreakable "computer chip" is worse than a
    one time pad. Code breakers just obtain a chip,
    reverse engineer it to build a hardware description
    language model and simulate it. That is what
    BletchleyPark code breakers did to enigma
    by hand before the computer age. Polish
    cryptographers somehow obtained an enigma.