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posted by Cactus on Tuesday February 18 2014, @03:00PM   Printer-friendly
from the Making-the-NSA-cry dept.

aliks writes:

"The practical applications of quantum encryption may be getting closer. A paper published in Physical Review Letters by Vedran Dunjko, Petros Wallden, and Erika Andersson presents a way to use Quantum Digital Signatures without requiring long term quantum memory. provides a summary:
Quantum digital signatures (QDSs) allow the sending of messages from one sender to multiple recipients, with the guarantee that messages cannot be forged or tampered with. Additionally, messages cannot be repudiated; if one recipient accepts a message, she is guaranteed that others will accept the same message as well. While messaging with these types of security guarantees are routinely performed in the modern digital world, current technologies only offer security under computational assumptions. QDSs, on the other hand, offer security guaranteed by quantum mechanics. All of the variants of QDSs proposed thus far require long-term, high quality quantum memory, making them unfeasible in the foreseeable future. Here, we present a QDS scheme where no quantum memory is required, which also needs just linear optics. This makes QDSs feasible with current technology."

[Ed. Note] The Physical Review Letters link has all the fun details, but provides a more understandable article for the layperson.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by TrumpetPower! on Tuesday February 18 2014, @05:56PM

    by TrumpetPower! (590) <> on Tuesday February 18 2014, @05:56PM (#1762) Homepage

    I think we're most of us here familiar with Munroe's $5 wrench. Good cryptography is an important part of the challenge of secure communications...but it's turned out to be the easy part that's already mostly solved. It's been a long time since successful attacks relied on cryptological weaknesses; today, it's all about avoiding the cryptography entirely. Exploit a programming bug in the target computer to take control; gain physical access to the machine and have your way with it; or use some sort of social engineering attack to get people to just willingly hand you the keys.

    What I'd like to see is some sort of innovation that protects us even from ourselves -- if that's even possible.

    I'd also like to see the enemies of liberty who're running rampant in the "secret" branches of our governments tossed in prison and left to rot. It's bad enough that we have criminals trying to take advantage of us, but paying taxes for the privilege of being taken advantage of by the most concerted attack on freedom adds so many layers of insult on top of profound injury it's not even funny.

    So, yay for quantum cryptography...but maybe somebody will be inspired to address the more pressing (and, granted, difficult) half of the problem?



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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Cactus on Tuesday February 18 2014, @07:48PM

    by Cactus (32) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @07:48PM (#1844) Journal

    "What I'd like to see is some sort of innovation that protects us even from ourselves"

    Isn't this what consumer electronics / software companies try and do? Rather, isn't that their excuse for locking down computers and devices as much as possible? "Smartphone" OSs that are basically just buttons to launch programs, locked down boot loaders, scarey warnings from Windows' UAC and web browsers when you venture off the beaten path, etc, etc.