Using Quantum Physics to Fight Data Theft: The Future of Secure Digital

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Using Quantum Physics to Fight Data Theft: The Future of Secure Digital

Have you ever had the feeling that a little-known seller might enter your important financial information on their website? Would you be brave enough to give your passwords or credit card information to suspicious organizations?

To solve this conundrum, University of Vienna researchers have developed an unconditionally safe mechanism to take action in such situations. This solution combines the unique properties of quantum light with modern encryption techniques. Demonstrating such "quantum-digital payments" in a practical setting was recently published in Nature Communications.

In many areas of our daily lives, digital payments have taken on the role of traditional currency. Like banknotes, they must be easy to use, distinctive, untraceable and tamper-proof, while at the same time resilient to cyber attacks and data breaches.

Today's payment ecosystem replaces sensitive customer data with random strings of numbers, and the uniqueness of each transaction is protected by a traditional cryptographic technique or code. However, competitors and businesses with powerful computational capabilities can crack these codes, recover customers' private information, and take actions such as paying customers on their behalf.

Professor at the University of Vienna. Researchers led by Philip Walther have demonstrated how the quantum properties of light particles, or photons, can provide complete security for digital payments. The researchers conducted an experiment to show that no transactions can be copied or redirected by malicious parties and that the user's sensitive information will remain private.

Says Tobias Guggemos: “I am really impressed with how the quantum properties of light can be used to protect new applications that concern our daily lives, such as digital payments.”

The researchers used a quantum protocol that leverages single photons to replace traditional cryptography methods to provide completely secure digital payments.

In a traditional digital payment transaction, the customer and the payment provider (such as a bank or credit card firm) exchange a traditional code known as a cryptogram. The customer, merchant and payment processor then exchange this cryptogram. This cryptogram is generated in the quantum protocol, which is demonstrated by the payment provider sending specially crafted single photons to the customer.

The customer measures these photons for the payment transaction and the measurement parameters depend on the transaction details. The process can only be performed once because the quantum states of light cannot be replicated. This makes the digital payment absolutely secure in the fact that any deviation from the intended payment changes the measurement results approved by the payment provider.


📩 26/07/2023 09:04