Security at light speed

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have tested a high-speed exchange of cryptographic keys using a stream of photons, the smallest pulses of light. Such transmission is secure from eavesdropping because tapping into a photon stream changes its physical properties. "Detecting a photon involves its destruction," a NIST official said.

NIST's quantum key distribution system sent a stream of photons 730 meters between two buildings at a rate of 1 megabit per second, which is 100 times faster than similar systems. New York-based MagiQ Technologies Inc. and Swiss firm ID Quantique have slower commercial offerings that use the quantum technology.


Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

What is your e-mail address?

My e-mail address is:

Do you have a password?

Forgot your password? Click here

Washington Technology Daily

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.


contracts DB