Washington: A new research has suggested that fraud-proof credit cards are possible with quantum physics in an attempt to protect financial data and personal information from criminal activity.
Researchers from the Netherlands has harnessed the power of quantum mechanics to create a fraud-proof method for authenticating a physical "key" that is virtually impossible to thwart.
This innovative security measure, known as Quantum-Secure Authentication, can confirm the identity of any person or object, including debit and credit cards, even if essential information (like the complete structure of the card) has been stolen and it uses the unique quantum properties of light to create a secure question-and-answer (Q and A) exchange that cannot be "spoofed" or copied.
Lead author Pepijn Pinkse said that single photons of light have very special properties that seem to defy normal behavior and when properly harnessed, they can encode information in such a way that prevents attackers from determining what the information is.
The process works by transmitting a small, specific number of photons onto a specially prepared surface on a credit card and then observing the tell-tale pattern they make and, since, in the quantum world, a single photon can exist in multiple locations, it becomes possible to create a complex pattern with a few photons or even just one.
Due to the quantum properties of light, any attempt by a hacker to observe the Q and A exchange would, as physicists say, collapse the quantum nature of the light and destroy the information being transmitted, which makes Quantum-Secure Authentication unbreakable regardless of any future developments in technology
According to Pinkse, this unique way of providing security is suitable for protecting government buildings, bank cards, credit cards, identification cards, and even cars.
Quantum-Secure Authentication could be employed in numerous situations relatively easily, since it uses simple and cheap technology, such as lasers and projectors, that is already available.
The study is published in The Optical Society's (OSA) new high-impact journal Optica.