Quantum Cryptography Breached With Lasers

Quantum Cryptography Breached With Lasers
Quantum Cryptography Breached With Lasers

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By Mathew J. Schwartz
September 8, 2010

Norwegian computer scientists have perfected a laser-based attack 
against quantum cryptography systems that allows them to eavesdrop on 
communications without revealing their presence.

One of the biggest commercial uses for quantum cryptography to date has 
been to securely exchange keys. Unlike traditional key distribution 
techniques, using quantum mechanics offers a seemingly foolproof upside: 
any attempt by an attacker to measure quantum data disturbs it -- per 
the Heisenberg uncertainty principle -- which a quantum cryptography 
system can detect, thus ensuring that communications remain secure.

Enter the laser. The team of researchers from the Norwegian University 
of Science and Technology (NTNU), the University of Erlangen-N=C3=BCrnberg 
and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen 
developed a quantum eavesdropping technique that remotely controls the 
photon detector, which is a key component in most quantum cryptography 


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