Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Quantum Key

PostedJanuary 18, 2019

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 Lede: It’s relatively easy for bad guys to tap into and steal transmissions from fiber-optic cables, without even being noticed. So sensitive data must be encrypted.

Randy Atkins: Even if stolen, right now, it’s virtually impossible to decipher the keys of encrypted messages. But, if the information is stored, future invention of a working super-powerful quantum computer could allow today’s mathematical codes to easily be broken…revealing secret information. So Bethesda-based Quantum Xchange is developing fibers that use a new quantum key.

John Prisco: …we create a key made out of light.

Randy Atkins: John Prisco is the company’s C-E-O.

John Prisco: If someone were trying to tap one of our fibers, it would dislodge the photons that make up the key and the key would become useless.

Randy Atkins: Prisco says such an intrusion would also be easily detected. Quantum Xchange already has a working fiber-optic cable serving the financial community in New York City and is preparing fibers links they own from Boston to Washington, DC. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.​