Quantum Physics Used to Secure the Cloud
When Desktop Engineering surveyed its readers last year for our special issue on cloud computing, the biggest concern to moving engineering computing processes to the cloud was security.
Work is being done by the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology (VCQ) at the University of Vienna and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) to protect computers from hackers. In this case, quantum physics have been applied to securing data in the cloud from snoops and thieves.
Quantum physics solves one of the key challenges in distributed computing. It can preserve data privacy when users interact with remote computing centers.
— Stefanie Barz, IQOQI Vienna.
This method of securing cloud data uses a quantum server to transmit information, while having no capability of translating that data. The scientists in Vienna have dubbed this “blind quantum computing.” This particular experiment used photons to encrypt the data because they are compatible with quantum computations and can travel over long distances.
The process begins when a standard computer forms data into qubits (the basic unit of quantum computing) in a state known only to that user and transmits them to the cloud. The quantum server then entangles the qubits using a program without actually reading what is in the qubits. When the user is ready to retrieve the information, the qubits are returned to the original computer, which is able to translate them back into understandable information.
Scientists believe the process is immune to theft because only the original computer has the ability to properly decode the qubits. Even assuming the data is somehow compromised, until quantum computers become the standard, most thieves wouldn’t have the capability to decode the qubit.
Below you’ll find a video that explains the basics of quantum computing.
Source: University of Vienna