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Quantum Cryptography

Quantum Cryptography

Quantum cryptography, different from regular encryption, uses quantum mechanics to secure data, making it tough to hack. The DRDO achieved a milestone by showcasing Quantum Key Distribution. This breakthrough showed successful communication between DRDL and RCI.

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How does Quantum Cryptography Work?

  • In Quantum Cryptography/QKD, we send encryption keys as qubits, which are quantum bits, through optical fibers. These fibers can swiftly transfer data over long distances because they reflect light completely inward.
  • QKD involves communication between authorized users, necessitating authentication using various cryptographic techniques.
  • QKD allows two remote users to generate a shared, random string of secret bits, called a secret key, even if they don’t initially share a lengthy secret key.
  • QKD can transform an authenticated communication channel into a secure one.
  • Qubits, which are encoded on photons, are crafted to disrupt unauthorized entities trying to read the transmission. This alerts legitimate end users of any transmission issues right away.
Quantum Key Distribution

Applications of Quantum Cryptography

  • Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) networks play a crucial role in securely transferring keys between parties.
  • QKD counters quantum computing threats to data security in various industries, with applications such as replacing traditional couriers offering clear benefits, while online banking requires extensive quantum ATM infrastructure for enhanced security.
  • QKD excels in generating lengthy random keys from brief input keys, which is essential for One-Time Passwords (OTPs).
  • The technology enables the emergence of startups and small to medium-sized businesses in the quantum information field.
  • QKD facilitates security agencies in designing quantum communication networks with indigenous technology backbones.
  • Quantum key distribution primarily facilitates secure key distribution but also serves in applications like quantum commitment, quantum coin tossing, and untrustworthy quantum cryptography.
  • Anticipated roles for QKD include defining standards and drafting laws related to cryptography.

What you need to know about this technology?

Traditional encryption methods, reliant on conventional mathematics, face a looming threat from the rapid advancements in quantum computing. The emergence of quantum computing promises unparalleled speed and computational power, potentially rendering current encryption techniques vulnerable to hacking. QKD uses photons to create a secure communication channel between two distant parties by generating a secret key. This key, immune to interception, enables encryption and decryption using the one-time pad technique, ensuring robust security.

Significance of this technology

The encryption employed is deemed “unbreakable” primarily due to the manner in which data is transmitted via photons. A photon’s inherent nature prevents perfect replication, and any endeavor to measure it inevitably disrupts its state. Consequently, any interception of the data leaves a detectable trace. This breakthrough has profound implications for cybersecurity, enhancing the safety of businesses, while also posing challenges for government entities seeking to intercept communications clandestinely.


It is imperative to harness the capabilities of both start-ups and major IT firms dedicated to developing quantum technology and its applications. Crafting a comprehensive plan for the next 10 to 15 years should prioritize efficient resource allocation and directing efforts toward crucial areas that offer economic and strategic benefits.

Read also: National Quantum Mission

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