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What benefits does quantum cryptography provide in this era?

Faizan Ahmed Khan

Grokking Modern System Design Interview for Engineers & Managers

Ace your System Design Interview and take your career to the next level. Learn to handle the design of applications like Netflix, Quora, Facebook, Uber, and many more in a 45-min interview. Learn the RESHADED framework for architecting web-scale applications by determining requirements, constraints, and assumptions before diving into a step-by-step design process.

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Quantum cryptography

Quantum cryptography is a science that uses quantum mechanics principles for data encryption and data transmission. Hackers cannot access data – even by malicious players who have their quantum computing systems.

Quantum cryptography differs from conventional cryptographic systems because it relies on physics instead of mathematics, which is the key aspect of its security model.

Quantum cryptography is a thoroughly secure approach against being compromised without the familiarity of the message sender or the receiver.

In quantum physics, photons are responsible for carrying lightwaves. Photons have properties like momentum, energy, and spin. Spin property can bring polarisation, which has two modes, i.e., rectilinear and diagonal. In quantum cryptography, these modes represent binary values as 0 and 1. Each photon can carry one qubit. A qubit can be 0 or 1 at the same time. At receiving end user must pass it through a filter to determine the photon’s state. These qubits are sent over one channel, and a key is transmitted using another channel.

Key sharing

Sender shares a stream of randomly polarised photons, and if any intervention occurs, the receiver will come to know, and the key will be discarded. The receiver will then ask the sender to stream randomly polarised photons again.

Quantum Cryptography

Quantum keys are transmitted over one channel, i.e., quantum channel and encrypted data is transmitted over the classic channel.

Advantages of quantum cryptography

  • Through quantum cryptography, security is highly improved using the laws of quantum physics.
  • Quantum states are continuously changing, making it impossible to crack the key.
  • Quantum cryptography uses separate channels for key and data making the key channel more secure.
  • Due to the key stream’s quantum nature, if anyone intervenes in the key, the receiver will know and request another key.
  • Guaranteed encryption life for a standard key is around 30 years, while the quantum key can not be cracker up to 100 years.

Disadvantages of quantum cryptography

  • Photon polarization can be affected while traveling through the medium, i.e., optical fiber.
  • The implementation cost of quantum cryptography is high.
  • Quantum cryptography is in the initial stage, and it will take a long time to implement worldwide.
    Quantum cryptography uses the optical channel to propagate, which also raises questions about its robustness.

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Faizan Ahmed Khan
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Grokking Modern System Design Interview for Engineers & Managers

Ace your System Design Interview and take your career to the next level. Learn to handle the design of applications like Netflix, Quora, Facebook, Uber, and many more in a 45-min interview. Learn the RESHADED framework for architecting web-scale applications by determining requirements, constraints, and assumptions before diving into a step-by-step design process.

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