Quantum Internet has been hailed as the one true answer to securing Web-based networks, but it has not yet been put to the test - until now.
As noted by MIT Technology Review, a team of researchers at Los Alamos National Labs in New Mexico has been successfully running a mini quantum Internet for 2.5 years.
Quantum Internet is rooted in the notion that measuring a quantum object changes it. So if anyone tried to hack into a network and snoop on a message, it would register a change, meaning hackers could not invade a network undetected.
"That allows anybody to send a 'one-time pad' over a quantum network which can then be used for secure communication using conventional classical communication," MIT Technology Review said.
It's a novel idea, but rolling it out on a major scale is problematic because it can only occur via a single length of fibre. "So they can send secure messages from A to B but cannot route this information onwards to C, D, E or F," the site said.
The researchers' approach was "to create a quantum network based around a hub and spoke-type network." All messages were routed from anywhere in the network to another point via that central hub. "As long as the hub is secure, then the network should also be secure."
The ultimate goal, according to Technology Review, is to build one of these modules into almost any device connected to a fibre optic network — set-top TV boxes, home computers, etc. — to allow perfectly secure messaging.
For more, check out the researchers' full paper.
Last year, IBM researchers claimed they'd made breakthroughs in quantum computing that put them "on the cusp of building systems that will take computing to a whole new level."
No practical quantum computers have been deployed yet — just experimental ones. But the IBM team came close to what the American Physical Society dubbed the minimum requirements for a full-scale quantum computing system. Perhaps the Los Alamos scientists can break the streak.