(BusinessWire) Terra Quantum AG, one of the leading Quantum technology pioneers in Europe, has announced details of research which upends the current understanding of what constitutes unbreakable and future-proofed data encryption. The Terra Quantum’s breakthrough secures the most critical communications such as high privacy messages, online banking details, and confidential communications between international organisations.
Markus Pflitsch, Terra Quantum founder and CEO, said: “With an information society that transfers an increasingly large amount of personal data over public channels, information security is an emerging worldwide challenge. Therefore, protecting confidential data is a major dispute.
Our ground-breaking results demonstrate the vulnerability of existing post-quantum encryption schemes. Inspired by the demand to amend the unravelled weak spot, we have developed the superfast key distribution method through the optical fibre.”
Post-quantum cryptography is the set of methods to push protecting data to the standards required for a future technology environment in which hackers have access to quantum computing. One of the most popular is the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), built to withstand attacks from quantum computers. Post-quantum cryptography has become the gold standard for organizations seeking long-term protection for their data.
Terra Quantum realised that the AES is fairly secure against already identified algorithms but may appear fenceless against upcoming threats. To build the defence, Terra Quantum set out to look for a weakness by testing the AES against new algorithms. They Terra Quantum discovered a weakness on the message-digest algorithm MD5. The Terra Quantum team found that one can crack an algorithm using a quantum annealer containing about 20,000 qubits. No such annealer exists today, and while it is impossible to predict when it may be created, it is conceivable that such an annealer could become available to hackers in the future. Thus, Terra Quantum has demonstrated the growing opportunities for an inversion of the broad class of cryptographic hash functions (the hash function is the function that irreversibly transforms a long chain of bits into a single small number) such as MD5 or AES. Hereby, Terra Quantum reveals the vulnerability of existing post-quantum encryption schemes.
The protocol is called ‘the superfast Boltzmann-Planck-protected secure information transmission’. The critical component of the proposed protocol is the change of the security paradigm based on quantum irreversibility. Terra Quantum’s CTOs, Professors Gordey Lesovik and Valerii Vinokur, said: “A new protocol derives from the notion that Quantum Demon is a small beast. The standard approach utilises the concept that the Demon hired by an eavesdropper (Eva) is a King Kong-like hundred kilometres big monster who can successfully use all the transmission line losses to decipher the communication. But since real Quantum Demons are small, Eva has to recruit an army of a billion to successfully collect all the scattered waves leaking from the optical fibre that she needs for efficient deciphering. Terra Quantum proposes an innovative technique utilizing the fact that such an army cannot exist – in accord with the second law of thermodynamics.”