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Laser security system to beat hackers

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - 17:14

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

"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.


First Published: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - 17:14
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