As the hype for cloud computing rises ever higher, the issue of security is becoming a hot topic in the information exchange industry. The benefits of working in the cloud are immense, but many fear the risk posed by having their sensitive data accessible by the cyber-ether.
Quantum computing to the rescue. Researchers at the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology (VCQ) at the University of Vienna and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) have successfully demonstrated how quantum-enabled computers can process information without ever knowing anything about the information it’s processing.
Here’s the gist of it: the user prepares qubits (kinda like the quantum computer equivalent of ‘bits’ in a classical computer) in a state that’s known only to him/herself and sends those qubits to the quantum computer via photons (light particles). The quantum computer then waves its magic wand and entangles the qubits according to a standard scheme. The processing of the information can now be performed using a measurement-based method so the computer only has to perform simple measurements on the qubits. The user would send measurement instructions along with each qubit, which is then sent to the quantum server. The computer does its thing, sends the results back, and the user then interprets the computed information using the original state to decode it. Anyone who caught the information in the middle wouldn’t have a clue how to decipher it without knowledge of the initial state!
Since the cost to create a quantum computer is a little bit outside of the average geek’s price range, it seems quantum computers won’t be helping you keep your parents unaware of your porn stash, but are more likely to be used in specialised facilities around the globe. This concept will work seamlessly with the direction the world is taking, operating everything in a cloud that is controlled by central remote servers.
Only now the whole up-in-the-air issue of security becomes that much more grounded.
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