Jerusalem: Israeli scientists have invented a laser security system which they claim can beat today’s hackers and the hackers of the future with existing fibre optic and computer technology.
The researchers at Tel Aviv University’s School of Electrical Engineering have found that by transmitting binary lock-and-key information in the form of light pulses, the device ensures that a shared key code can be unlocked by the sender and receiver and absolutely nobody else.
According to lead author Dr Jacob Scheuer, if it’s done right, the system could be absolutely secure. Even with a quantum computer of the future, a hacker couldn’t decipher the key.
“When the RSA system for digital information security was introduced in the 1970s, the researchers who invented it predicted that their 200-bit key would take a billion years to crack,” Scheuer said.
“It was cracked five years ago. As computers become increasingly powerful, the idea of using the RSA system becomes more fragile thus the solution lies in a new kind of system to keep prying eyes off secure information,” he said.
He added, “Rather than developing the lock or the key, we’ve developed a system which acts as a type of key bearer”.
But how can a secure key be delivered over a non-secure network — a necessary step to get a message from one user to another? If a hacker sees how a key is being sent through the system, then he could be in a position to take the key, Science Blog reported.
So Dr Sheuer found a way to transmit a binary code (the key bearer) in the form of 1s and 0s, but using light and lasers instead of numbers.
“The trick is for those at either end of the fibre optic link to send different laser signals they can distinguish between, but which look identical to an eavesdropper,” the author said.
Dr Scheuer developed his system using a special laser he invented, which can reach over 3,000 miles without any serious parts of the signal being lost.
This approach makes it simpler and more reliable than quantum cryptography, a new technology that relies on the quantum properties of photons, the researcher said.
With the right investment to test the theory, Dr Scheuer says it is plausible and highly likely that the system he has built is not limited to any range on earth, even a round-the-world link, for international communications.
“We’ve already published the theoretical idea and now have developed a preliminary demonstration in my lab. Once both parties have the key they need, they could send information without any chance of detection,” he said.