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DARPA Seeks Holy Grail: Quantum-Based Data Security System

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The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recently launched the Quiness program, which aims to demonstrate that quantum communications can generate secure keys at sustainable rates of 1-10 Gbps at distances of up to 10,000 kilometers.

The Quiness program will develop macroscopic quantum communications, such as protocols that combine the security of single-photon-based quantum communications with the robustness against loss and noise of bright coherent pulses, according to DARPA. The Quiness program also aims to demonstrate that secure quantum communications can be extended to new domains, such as underwater and through dirty air, and to extend quantum communications beyond key distribution to other protocols.

"Communications protected by quantum security can typically only be attacked "in transit" and are not vulnerable to off-line attacks at some point in the future using newly developed techniques or computational resources," DARPA notes. Successful Quiness programs will present a method for decoupling loss from the secure bit rate, DARPA adds. All critical program areas will produce prototypes on six- to nine-month cycles and deliver them to a central testbed.

From Network World 
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