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Commercial Quantum Cryptography System Hacked

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Broken quantum crypto

Technology Review

Physicists have mounted the first successful attack of its kind on a commercial quantum cryptography system.

When it comes to secure messaging, nothing beats quantum cryptography, a method that offers perfect security. Messages sent in this way can never be cracked by an eavesdropper, no matter how powerful.

At least, that's the theory. Today, Feihu Xu, Bing Qi and Hoi-Kwong Lo at the University of Toronto in Canada say they have broken a commercial quantum cryptography system made by the Geneva-based quantum technology startup ID Quantique, the first successful attack of its kind on a commercially-available system.

Here's how they did it. Any proof that quantum cryptography is perfect relies on assumptions that don't always hold true in the real world. Identify one of these weaknesses and you've found a loophole that can be exploited to hack in to such a system.

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