Quantum Cryptography Definition & Meaning
Quantum cryptography is the application of quantum mechanics principles to encryption to better secure connections between two parties. It gained traction in the 1980s when Charles Bennett and Gilles Brassard introduced their quantum key distribution protocol, called BB84. Quantum key distribution uses subatomic light particles - photons - as a means of choosing a secret encryption key. Before generating the key, the two parties must interact and authenticate their identities. Then photons are sent across a cable and are randomly divided by a beam splitter. The remaining photons determine the key, which is now known only to the communicating parties.
Quantum key distribution should be used with other encryption practices for best possible security. It has failed before, but that was due to faulty implementation rather than the principles of quantum mechanics, which are reliable and consistent.
Mistrustful quantum cryptography uses different methods of creating an encrypted connection, such as coin flipping and oblivious transfer. The two parties don't trust each other, which increases the likelihood of cheating, and it's typically impossible to create unconditional security. Methods of mistrustful quantum cryptography should be used with other encryption methods.
The benefit of quantum cryptography is its security. Because the connection between the two parties is established using photons, any attempted breach will clearly disturb the photons. Those parties will notice anyone attempting to eavesdrop or interrupt the communication. A cryptographic connection established by physics is more secure than other encryption protocols; its security can be proven through physics principles.
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
From A3 to ZZZ we list 1,559 text message and online chat abbreviations to help you translate and understand today's texting lingo. Includes Top... Read More »Huge List of Computer Certifications
Have you heard about a computer certification program but can't figure out if it's right for you? Use this handy list to help you decide. Read More »
Computer architecture provides an introduction to system design basics for most computer science students. Read More »Network Fundamentals Study Guide
Networking fundamentals teaches the building blocks of modern network design. Learn different types of networks, concepts, architecture and... Read More »The Five Generations of Computers
Learn about each of the five generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the computing devices that we use... Read More »