Credit card owners and shoppers can now shop online with confidence against the knowledge that their credit cards are unhackable, courtesy of a new quantum-secure authentication (QSA) technology that uses enhanced quantum cryptography. This new credit card and identity card digital security beats the imagination of online data thieves and prevents them from stealing financial information or extract sensitive data for dubious use.
Imagine credit cards and ID cards which could never be hacked. That’s the promise of quantum cryptography, which harnesses peculiar properties of subatomic particles to thwart data thieves. Now a team of Dutch researchers says we’re closer to making such technology a practical reality. Publishing in the current issue of Optica, scientists at the University of Twente and Eindhoven University of Technology describe what they call quantum-secure authentication (QSA) of a “classical multiple-scattering key.” To decipher and authenticate the key, the team illuminated it with “a light pulse containing fewer photons than spatial degrees of freedom and verifying the spatial shape of the reflected light.” The upshot is that a would-be hacker couldn’t crack the encrypted data “even if all information about the key is publicly known,” because the principles of quantum physics prevent the optical response to the key from being emulated.