Quantum Random Number Generator. Touted incessantly in the media, and rightly so, quantum computing could crack encryption codes throughout the globe.
The key threat to current encryption standards, including AES and RSA, lies in the fact that “cracking them would take too much time and resources to be feasible… The massive increases in processing power that quantum computers could provide, however, have cybersecurity experts warning that existing encryption standards could soon be worthless.”
A newly minted U.S. firm, Quantum Xchange, is working feverishly to bring quantum key distribution, also known as QKD, to wide use in the United States. The company is employing a quantum random number generator to create the virtually unhackable keys implemented. By means of quantum technology, the random numbers generated are truly random. They cannot be reversed engineered, so to speak, to determine a pattern as most random numbers generated by classical computers produce.
To further the security of the QRNG and QKD, Quantum Xchange’s network also has built-in protections against data cables being tapped.
“We will send 1 million photons down the fiber, and we will compose a key of only 10 percent of those photons,” Quantum Xchange claims. A malicious actor trying to break into the system would have to know which random numbers were being used for the key.
“You would have to guess the polarization or the phase of those 900,000 photons that [were] discarded, one after another every time… That would be like flipping a coin 900,000 times and always getting heads or tails right.”