Universidad Politecnica de Madrid School of Computing researchers have developed a prototype metropolitan quantum-key distribution network that will be ready for deployment by Telefonica on any Spanish urban telecommunications network by 2010. The prototype is being developed as part of the Security and Confidence in the Information Society research and development project, which includes a consortium of 12 companies and 15 public research institutions. The project's goal is to create a new generation of integral security solutions capable of dealing with telecommunications security risks currently threatening conventional networks. The security of conventional public-key cryptography methods is based on the confidence that any attacker does not have enough computing power or mathematical knowledge to decrypt the message. However, this method is becoming less secure as computing power increases and mathematical models become increasingly sophisticated. Quantum-key distribution relies on quantum mechanics and provides a completely different way of creating cryptographic keys, providing much higher levels of security. The researchers' metropolitan quantum-key distribution network can coexist with traditional communications networks, which they say is a major advantage as networks already have all the key components and have been successfully tested in experiments.
From Universidad Politecnica de Madrid
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