Quantum Key Distribution – Today Current Affairs
- Recently, a joint team of scientists from Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi has successfully completed ‘Quantum Key Distribution’ (QKD) link between distances of more than 100 kms for the first time in the country.
Today Current Affairs
- With this success, the country has demonstrated indigenous technology for ‘Secure Key Transfer’ for ‘Bootstrapping Military-Grade Communication Security Key Hierarchy’.
- This technology will enable security agencies to plan a suitable ‘Quantum Communication Network’ with indigenous technology base.
What is ‘Quantum Key Distribution’?
- Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) provides ‘secure communication’ using various components of quantum mechanics.
- This technology enables two parties to generate a ‘Shared Random Secret Key’ known only to them, which is used to encrypt and decrypt messages. In this way both parties can communicate with each other very securely.
Methodology: The Hindu Analysis
- Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), works by transmitting millions of polarized light particles (photons) from one unit to another over a fiber optic cable.
- Each photon has a ‘Random Quantum State’, and collectively all photons form a ‘bit stream’ of ‘Units and Zeros’.
- When a photon travels through a ‘beam splitter’ as it approaches its receiver, this ‘beam splitter’ forces the photon to take a random path in the ‘photon collector’.
- The receiver then responds to the original sender with data related to the sequence of photons sent, and the sender then compares this response to the ’emitter’ that each photon sent.
- Photons in the wrong ‘beam collector’ get separated, leaving only a specific sequence of ‘bits’. This bit sequence can then be used as a key to ‘encrypt the data’.
The reason for the impenetrability of QKD: The Hindu Analysis
- The security of ‘Quantum Key Distribution’ is enhanced by the ability to detect any unauthorized access during QKD transmission. Because of the unique and debilitating properties of the photon, when any third party (or eavesdropper) tries to read or copy the photon in any way, the state of the photon changes.
- Changes in photon state are detected by the sender and receiver at the communication ends, and are alerted to the key being tampered with and discarded.
- Then, a new key is transmitted. Furthermore, since the newly generated keys are truly random, they are protected from future hacking attempts.
Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) Requirement: The Hindu Analysis
- QKD is essential to overcome the threat posed by rapid advances in ‘quantum computing’ to protect the data being transported by various important sectors through the current communication network.
- QKD will enable security agencies to plan a suitable quantum communication network with indigenous technology base.