A Quantum Internet would eliminate security concerns by nature

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,388   +121
Staff member
What just happened? The US Department of Energy this week laid out its blueprint for what it is calling the Quantum Internet, a second Internet that would run parallel to the digital Internet and offer unprecedented levels of security.

The traditional Internet, as The Wall Street Journal points out, works by encoding data into photons of light and sending it over long distances along fiber-optic cables or wirelessly via satellites. The issue, as it relates to security, is that these communications can be intercepted along the way, resulting in a hacker and the intended target receiving the same data.

On the Quantum Internet, the photons used to store a message’s contents would be “entangled,” a physical phenomenon in which a pair or group of particles are mysteriously linked despite being separated by vast distances.

Critically, if these particles are tinkered with in any way during transmission, including if intercepted by a hacker, the entanglement would be broken and the message would appear to the hacker and the recipient as scrambled.

“A quantum network, because of physics, is by definition completely secure,” said Paul Dabbar, the Energy Department’s Under Secretary for Science.

Researchers and scientists have only scratched the surface on their understanding of quantum entanglement although in order to send the entangled photons across long distances, they’re experimenting with quantum repeaters at regular intervals along the route to prevent signal drop.

David Awschalom, a physicist at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory, said the repeaters are in their early stages of development but look promising thus far.

A nationwide Quantum Internet could be fully functional within about a decade.

Masthead credit: Dmitriy Rybin

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Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,221   +2,106
There is no such thing as 100% secure.... I still remember when the DVD was released with encryption that was “uncrackable”....

But I DO laud attempts to increase security - as we can see that it’s almost laughable right now... poor Garmin :(
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 3,044   +2,860
If I had an AI like CORTANA from Halo, I could work several jobs from home simultaneously and make several paychecks without anyone knowing that CORTANA was doing all the work.

Or SELMA from Time Trax.
 
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Jeff Re

Posts: 222   +198
And what happens if someone hacks it just to make sure your connection is unusable? Is there a way around that?
 

Nobina

Posts: 2,556   +2,162
I've never had many issues with security online. Actually, the ones that promise me security and privacy are the ones that are violating it the most - Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Twitter and so on.
 

GregonMaui

Posts: 211   +80
Sounds like the promises for bubble memory. “That’s when computers can think for themselves”. Never did happen either

Of course I can’t wait for the transporter tech to beam us up either. And not to mention resequencing our dna while we are at it
 

quadibloc

Posts: 180   +104
A quantum repeater can't be used to make multiple copies, and must destroy the original. Otherwise, it would directly violate the laws of physics. So that's one thing you don't have to worry about.
 
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Eldritch

Posts: 228   +268
That's fine but MITM attacks are pretty rare due to universal SSL and the time required. Further, it won't stop most common form of attacks I.e. Keyloggers, malwares, data breaches etc.

So a keylogger in your OS or maybe even in your keyboard will still have all the info it wants. Same goes for data breaches and malwares who read clipboard, screenshot etc. Quantum net is better but definitely won't have much real world impact in next decade or two. Right now, it is far easier and far secure to enable 2FA in all important websites.
 
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veLa

Posts: 984   +517
That's fine but MITM attacks are pretty rare due to universal SSL and the time required.
A script kiddie can downgrade SSL / TLS as easy as pie. Even HSTS can be easily downgraded as long as the user hasn't visited the site yet.
 
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Eldritch

Posts: 228   +268
A script kiddie can downgrade SSL / TLS as easy as pie. Even HSTS can be easily downgraded as long as the user hasn't visited the site yet.
You are not wrong about that though you did made it sound incredibly easy. Even now, my dear friend, MITM is not that easy to actually pull off.

Again, yes you are indeed correct but the common attack routes can be thwarted by very simple config by site admins. They ofcourse, will not do that in most cases but the problem will even remain in quantum internet. The sites admins will find a way to f*k it all up and will fail to implement trivial security settings for 'maximum compatibility' or some similar bull crap.
 

hk2000

Posts: 135   +70
TechSpot Elite
It will never happen! The writer himself called it mysterious. Our "scientific" understanding of reality will prevent quantum physics theory from ever becoming a practical technological implementation- at least not on a large scale!!!
 

veLa

Posts: 984   +517
Again, yes you are indeed correct but the common attack routes can be thwarted by very simple config by site admins. They ofcourse, will not do that in most cases but the problem will even remain in quantum internet. The sites admins will find a way to f*k it all up and will fail to implement trivial security settings for 'maximum compatibility' or some similar bull crap.
Just as an example, any decent IDS/IPS would set off alerts if the MITM attack is an ARP spoof. I totally understand that with security at the front of mind, it's not too hard to stop MITM attacks.

But as we both agree, bad security practices are the central issue here.

I can tell you of at least one enterprise environment that is still using a WEP network for some legacy equipment. It's on it's own VLAN / subnet and has its SSID broadcast off. Pretty much anyone armed with Kali and a little knowledge could break into it within minutes, and if they're at a higher level, they could probably hop VLANs while they're at it too.

At this same site, I showed the Systems Administrator that I was able to hop onto any of their unpassworded operations computers and begin configuring the layer 3 root switch. Boy, he was not happy about that misconfiguration.

Oh, and while we're at it, all their shares are still using SMBv1. It's a real mess at that location, man.
 

cliffordcooley

Posts: 12,367   +5,777
So how exactly is this quantum internet to be built without multiple potentially insecure nodes?

Hint: It is not possible to have a quantum entanglement (if such a thing is even possible) with all devices you wish to communicate with.
 

kmo911

Posts: 220   +27
They could make them smaler implent ssl2 and so on to them . securety are just a flawn in the side. https sites are safe enough. but with that speed we could make 100 pc like one pc and it can do it 10000+++ faster the that ones used today. folder @ home could be done in a mili . at 10sec. gaming at 100 1110 111100 11000 11111100 million fps