The problem with encryption is that for everyone who needs it, there’s someone who wants to break it. The good news is that this is one sector where the good guys stay ahead of the bad guys. However, all that could change with the invention of quantum computing though.
There is one potential solution; an unbreakable encryption method that combines chaotic waves in a time-varying silicon chip. It sounds incredible, if not impossible, but that is what a team of scientists claim to have done. The scientists claim that their silicon chip uses chaos theory to create the perfect encryption process that is so advanced it can’t be broken by quantum computers but is also simple enough to operate on existing communication networks.
How Does it Work?
The team behind the chip came from several schools and universities, including the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Saint Andrews, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and the Center for Unconventional Processes of Sciences (CUP Sciences). They explained their chip and demonstrated its power in a paper on perfect secrecy cryptography in classical optical channels.
The leader of the team, Dr. Andrea Fratalocchi, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at KAUST explained: “with the advent of more powerful and quantum computers, all current encryption will be broken in a very short time..exposing the privacy of our present and, more importantly, past communications.”
The team developed a prototype chaos theory encryption chip that uses the laws of physics, including the second law of thermodynamics as well as chaos theory, to achieve what they call “perfect secrecy”. The chip generates cryptographic keys in order to read messages contained on it. These keys are never stored on the chip or included in a message. It uses correlated chaotic wavepackets and CMOS compatible silicon chips. It all starts with a digital human fingerprint that is transformed to become a “chaotic microresonator.”
The scientists claim that the encryption will stand up to an attacker that has the “unlimited” technological power of quantum computing. Even if the attacker had access to the system and copied the chips, they still couldn’t break the encryption. This is because the encryption is protected by the second law of thermodynamics and, as the scientists put it, the “exponential sensitivity of chaos.”
What Comes Next?
This is certainly an interesting new development in the technology world. This discovery has the potential to revolutionize communications privacy completely. So long as it works as well as the claims say and it proves cheap enough to work on a huge scale. The team is currently working on bringing chaos encryption to the world and also working on other chaos-based technologies.